6 Can’t-Miss Traverse City Wineries

Amy Bruining

Staying in beautiful Leelanau County? Then a visit to one of Northern Michigan’s highly acclaimed wineries should be at the top of your list. We’ve outlined our favorite spots to raise a glass on the state’s most prized peninsulas: Old Mission and Leelanau. Here, you’ll find a thriving wine community that’s undoubtedly earned its nickname, “the Napa of the Midwest.”

Come along as we explore six of Traverse City’s most stunning wineries:

Black Star Farms Old Mission: Sitting in the rolling hills of the East Grand Traverse Bay, Black Star Farms Old Mission boasts some of the best landscapes and award-winning wines in the region. Recognized both nationally and internationally, the winery brings a handcrafted approach to winemaking that offers classic varieties and full-bodied blends. Its tasting room is outfitted with a full bar, cozy fireplace, and an overflowing list of wines and spirits. And for dining, there’s plenty of options at the on-site cafe—even cooking classes for the cuisine-curious.

360 McKinley Rd., Traverse City, MI 49686

Tasting room hours vary by season.

Here, you'll find a thriving wine community that's undoubtedly earned its nickname, "the Napa of the Midwest."

Mari Vineyards: Founded by Marty Lagina in 1999, Mari Vineyards set a precedent for bringing world-class wines to Michigan. Inspired by his rich Italian heritage, Legina set out to produce exotic varieties like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. And oddly enough, his dream eventually became a reality. Today, Mari Vineyards spans over 60 acres (and counting!) in the Old Mission Peninsula and has truly made a name for itself as their bottles line the shelves at various Traverse City retail stores and restaurants. The vineyard’s flagship wine, Row 7, features a flavor unlike any other wine originating from Northern Michigan.

8175 Center Rd.
Traverse City, MI 49686

Open year round, weekly hours vary.


Chateau Grand Traverse Winery: Located on the Old Mission Peninsula, Chateau Grand Traverse is a family-owned-and-operated winery that takes pride in its deeply-rooted winemaking traditions. Whether it’s Riesling or RosĂ©, the winery proudly pours its heart and soul into each bottle that’s made. Vineyard tours allow visitors an inside look at production from vine to bottle. And tour guides share stories and history of the winery that extend back almost 50 years, offering insights on pressing, fermentation, barrel aging, and bottling. But what’s best? The spacious tasting room and patio, which allow one to bask in the landscape of incredible bay views and gorgeous sunsets.

12239 Center Road
Traverse City, MI 49686 USA

Open year round, tasting room hours vary by season.


Rove Estate Vineyard and Winery: While the Irish are commonly known for crafting a certain dry ale, Creighton and McKenzie Gallagher are sixth-generation, Irish farmers who are solidifying their reputation in winemaking. At 1,165 feet, their winery, Rove Estate, rests at the highest point in Leelanau County. Acting as the perfect stop along a Sleeping Bear Dunes or Empire Bluffs adventure, Rove Estate’s deck looks out to some of the most breathtaking views in the Grand Traverse Bay. As a farmland, the winery brings an abundance of award-winning wines and locally-sourced cuisines—and holds one of the richest legacies in Northern Michigan. Summertime at Rove Estate guarantees live music and outdoor games, while winter offers the chance to warm up around fire pits or take on snowshoeing trails. And did we mention it’s kid-friendly? Rove Estate welcomes adults and children of all ages!

7007 E. Traverse Hwy. (M-72)

Open year round, weekly hours vary.


Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery: Traditional yet unconventional. Welcoming and family-oriented. Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery ensures quality in every glass by crafting their wine in small batches. In 2004, founders Walt and Eileen Brys constructed their winery and tasting room on their 91 acres of land. And today, they tend to over 40,000 vines and lush lavender fields. The winery is committed to creating the region’s finest reds and believes that wine is about, “people, place, and passion,” always. Recognizing how winemaking is a blend of science and care, their philosophy results in some of the most exceptional varieties of Pinot, Merlot, Reisling, and Chardonnay on the Old Mission Peninsula.

3309 Blue Water Road
Traverse City, MI 49686

Open year round, hours vary by season.


Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery: Ever picturesque, Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery (meaning “beautiful lake” in Italian) was rightfully named for its stunning views of vineyards and Lake Leelanau. With more than 100 varieties on 37 acres, the winery is particularly selective about planting grapes that will flourish in cool climates and rich soils. Pressing between 125 to 150 tons of grapes each harvest, there’s no shortage of crisp whites or complex reds. Along with classics like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc, Bel Lago produces rarities like Auxerrois and Cayuga White. Better yet, have friends who prefer cider? Bel Lago also offers a wide array of handcrafted hard ciders.

6530 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Cedar, MI 49621

Open Saturdays, noon to 5 PM


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