Situated on the 45th parallel (the same parallel that crosses some of France's and Italy's most famous wine-making regions), it makes perfect sense that Traverse City, Michigan, is home to so many wineries. While having an abundance of wineries in the region can be a blessing for wine lovers, this abundance of wineries also comes with a drawback in that it's more difficult to figure out which wineries are worth visiting and which aren't. So, to help point you in the right direction, here's a little information about three of Traverse City's must-see wineries.
Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery (www.brysestate.com)
Address: 3309 Blue Water Road, Traverse City, Michigan, 49686
Phone Number: (231) 223-9303
Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery saw its first harvest in 2004, just four years after the property's abandoned cherry orchard was given new life as a vineyard. Their Upper Deck patio and Bridge Above the Vines showcase the area's beautiful scenery and provide the perfect atmosphere for sampling delicious wines. For an extra special visit, be sure to stroll through their Secret Garden and stop in at their lavender-themed gift shop. Guests interested in an extended stay can reserve the estate's private two-bedroom guest house – open late April to mid-November, subject to availability.
Chateau Grand Traverse (www.cgtwines.com)
Address: 12239 Center Road, Traverse City, Michigan, 49686
Phone Number: (231) 938-6120
Chateau Grand Traverse is a second generation, family-operated winery with over forty years of winemaking history. Home to one of the largest vineyards in the region, they not only produce and sell their own delicious wines, but also supply grapes to other wineries. While at the winery, be sure to visit their exceptional gift shop (filled with many unique wine-themed gifts) and enjoy a complimentary thirty-minute tour of the facility. For an extended visit, guests can book a stay in one of their inn's six unique guest rooms – open year-round, subject to availability.
Left Foot Charley (www.leftfootcharley.com)
Address: 806 Red Drive #100, Traverse City, Michigan, 49684
Phone Number: (231) 995-0500
Founded in 2004, Left Foot Charley operates under a different model than most wineries. Instead of following a more-traditional single estate model, they source their grapes from vineyard owners who don't own their own wineries. Previously, such yields often ended up in large blends, never allowing the yield's individual flavors to emerge.