I was looking forward to visiting Traverse City, Michigan and exploring the neighboring areas but little did I know my timing was going to be SO good. You see, that weekend, the Leelanau Peninsula Spring Sip & Wine was taking place (check here for other events!). Over 20 wineries participated and the ticket included a small appetizer and several tastings of wine at each participating winery. Heaven!
I did have to mind how many places I visited as I only had one afternoon and I would not want to rush just to score more wineries! (<- crazy talk) Plus, it was my first time in the area so I wanted to also admire the scenery.
Upon entering Leelanau Peninsula, our first stop was the Ciccone Vineyards.
If the last name sounds familiar, it is Madonna‘s last name: it is her Dad’s winery. I don’t know the full story but I know at some point (and maybe still) they are not close. The “savor” part at this winery was the homemade chili by the owner. It was delicious and perfect given the rainy weather at that point in the day. We enjoyed chatting with the staff!
My partner-in-crime, er, fellow traveler and I moved on to Blustone Vineyards which stole a piece of my heart… Why? They were serving CUBAN PERNIL (pork)!!!! As a 100% Cuban-blooded human being and cook of Cuban pork myself I was impressed with the quality of the pork. The pork was from Georgina‘s in Traverse City (I looked at their menu online and I immediately started salivating!! Next time in TC, I will HAVE to visit!). Kudos!
Plus, the wine at Blustone was the most impressive of the whole lot I sampled on this visit. I also did love the space: modern, spacious, and well lit with natural light. It got quite packed after we arrived but there still was plenty of space to hang around. Good job, Blustone!
Random driving led us to encounter 45 North winery. “What’s with the name?,” you may say? Well, it is near the 45th parallel, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole!
The place was festive on the inside and out as you can see! We enjoyed being served our tastings there and watching the “hat scene”. Good job, 45 North!
It was time to keep on trucking along and we decided to go to Old Mission Peninsula to try a winery that was recommended, Brys Estate. I enjoyed their reds – and the view of the east bay. Though there was a great outdoor seating area with Adirondack chairs, because of the slightly weather, we did not partake of the outdoor. But that was fine because we enjoy chatting with our server and some of the other visitors.
So, after this Saturday spent driving around these and other Michigan wineries, I can safely say it is a GREAT way to explore the beauty of Michigan – and enjoying delicious food and wines! I do hope to return as there were many wineries I did not get to check out. I love having a reason to go back to places I like!