Hello and happy Wine Wednesday to all!  Did you know that there is a official travel guide of Pure Michigan?  We went to the Camper show in Troy and sure enough I discovered one for the Fall. Who knew!  I love taking day and weekend trips to see the changing of the leaves and escaping to the Upper Peninsula (little longer)  My favorite place to visit in Michigan (we have so many with the Great Lakes) is actually Frankenmuth. The trip is short and then there is the Shopping Outlet.  When the children were younger we would all pile in the car and take a day to have a chicken dinner and fudge (from Mackinaw Island of course) Then we would take the children picture in front of the mouse and cheese. Does anyone remember the mouse?

Ludington-sunset-beach
Ludington-sunset-beach

Another place I really like is Ludington http://www.pureludington.com (highlighted in the  Pure Michigan as well on pages 13-14)  We like to take our bikes and ride around the city have lunch at the water and visit the cute little stores in town and shop for unique souvenirs.

Actually in the Pure Michigan Guide -(pages 51-53) Welcome to Wine Country is an excellent article talking about the wines of Traverse City. Michigan’s grape-friendly Grand Traverse Bay region breaks out its vibrant hues and ripe fruit for fall.  Could there be a better time for a wine tour?  As summer ripens into autumn on Lake Michigan’s shoulder, the Grand Traverse Bay region charms visitors with hillsides snapping with color, fieldstone chimneys trailing smoke from the season’s first warming fires and blue-gray harbors dotted with boats.

Chateau Chantal harvest
Chateau Chantal harvest

Nights are chilly, but sunshine makes for no-jacket-required days, perfect for the many vineyards around Traverse City and on the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas.  A quarter of the Mitten State’s vineyards take advantage of these sun-washed hillsides along the 45th parallel-the same latitude as farmed wine regions in Italy and France.  Here, Grand Traverse Bay’s microclimate coddles the grapevines.

SIP – SAVOR – STAY

Tastes- At 45 North Vineyard and Winery’s tasting bar, friendly staffer Channing Sutton chats about her favorite subject:grapes.  “When you taste Chardonnay of the vine, it tastes a little like pineapple mixed with other fruits.”   On the narrower Old Mission Peninsula across Grand Traverse Bay, wineries like Bowers Harbor and Brys Estate look over rows of orderly vines to blue-water vistas.  At Brys, server Erin Hauch confesses “When I lived in Washington, I didn’t even like Cab Franc.  Here it’s more full-body and smooth, just has more flavor.”

Chateau-grand-traverse-winery
Chateau-grand-traverse-winery

Tours- Some fans take advantage of deep local knowledge and let tour providers take the wheel.  Choices include Blue Lakes by the Bays’ tour bus ferrying riders looking out wide windows from plush seats.  Traverse City Wine and Beer Tours goes psychedelic with a tie-dye colored bus.  And Grand Traverse Bike Tours provide a  picnic lunch, transport wine purchases and make rainstorm rescues.

Stay- Sit back and let the wine come to you at inn-and-vineyard destinations The Inn at Black Star Farms on the Leelanau Peninsula and Chateau Chantal bed-and-breakfast on the Old Mission Peninsula.  Visitors relish poached eggs with artichoke sauce or a slab of chocolate mousse cake in posh dining rooms dawdle over wines in sampling rooms and dream of cracking open bottles draped with medals while sleeping in luxurious guest rooms.

Chateau-GrandTraverse-Vineyard-Fall
Chateau-GrandTraverse-Vineyard-Fall

This has been a brief overview of Welcome to WINE Country.  See the full article in the travel guide of Pure Michigan or visit http://www.michigan.org. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the wines of Michigan. Have you ever visited a winery? I would like to hear about your experience at http://www.andwineknot.com or email dana2fly@comcast.net Thank you coming by. See you soon Dana