Favorite Michigan Wineries in Old Mission Peninsula & Leelanau

Last weekend we took my parents, who were visiting from California, to Traverse City to wine taste. We brought my mom here last October for her visit when she said she'd like to bring my dad back and stay at Black Star Farms. So that's just what we did!

In this post I'm going to tell you about each of our favorite wineries, restaurants and other tidbits, just in case you're planning a trip! First of all, the views are gorgeous and the wineries are beautiful. My parents (and many others) agree that the wine is much sweeter than say, the Napa Valley wineries. For someone like me who likes sweeter wine (I'm a Riesling and Pinot Grigio gal) I don't notice this.

We started on the Old Mission Peninsula. Our first stop was 2 Lads Winery, which my parents became a member at last fall. This has a beautiful view of the bay and we think it has some of the least-sweet wines. I'm a white drinker, but my family all agreed their Rolla Red was one of their very favorite reds of the trip. They didn't have full cheese or charcuterie boards, but they did have a little cheese and cracker plate. They also had some delicious dark chocolate!

After this first winery, we went to The Old Mission Lighthouse at the top of the peninsula. It was a very quick walk to see the view. I'm sure it's gorgeous in the fall! 

 My parents:
 Gorgeous lilac blooming everywhere here!

Next up we went to Chateau Chantal. Not for the wine, but to show my dad the views. You can see both sides of the bay from this winery! We're going to be honest: we don't prefer their wine.

Next up was Brys Estate. This is in my top two favorites because of it's wine (+ Froze!), charcuterie board, view and gift shop. You can see a tiny bit of water from Brys, but it's mostly vineyard, which happens to be beautiful. They just built this HUGE deck overlooking this vineyard (what I'm standing on to take the picture). In the summer I get Froze, though it was pretty chilly on this day so I stuck with wine. You have to do tastings inside (this is the case with most wineries), so to enjoy the view we decided to get a glass and sit on the deck. 
 Family selfie minus my husband ;)

This charcuterie board won for the day, for sure!

Just around the corner is the gift shop, full of cute gifts and mostly lavender items since they grow tons of lavender. It smells amazing! I got a lavender sleep mask and I love it. The outside of the gift shop is so quaint. We got a cookie from inside to enjoy on the patio.

It was father's day on the day we were here so I snapped a picture with my dad! The other cool thing Brys has is a huge flower garden and when the flowers are in bloom I think they even let you cut stems for a small price.

After Brys, we went to Bower's Harbor which was also lovely! This was the first time we went to this winery and we thought they won for most quaint, casual and dog-friendly. My mom loved their gift shop as well.

That night we stayed at Black Star Farms near Sutton's Bay. My mom saw it last time she visited and said she wanted to stay at the Inn next time, so we did! It was so cute and we HIGHLY recommend it. The breakfast was incredible, rooms were cute and clean, grounds were gorgeous and bonus, it was sunny for us!!

 We walked around the grounds and met some of their horses.

I didn't get a picture, but that night we went to Sutton's Bay for dinner at Martha's Table. This came recommended by my friend and boy, it didn't disappoint! It was by far some of the best food we'd ever had!! Everything is made by Martha herself. We sat outside on the patio while there was some live music playing. Everything was so wonderful!

The next morning we woke up to sun and so we headed out to my other favorite winery, French Valley Vineyards. To us, this has the best views of all-- it's right on Sutton's Bay so it feels like you're at the beach! We got mimosa's since it was 11:30 and they were so good! We basked in the sun for a while, went down to the dock and enjoyed about 45 minutes - an hour here.

Next up was Aurora Cellars. It was really pretty as well! All the wineries have tasting options inside only, so if you want to sit outside you have to get a glass. Aurora did something so clever and created a flight of wines (not as full as glasses, but you get to choose 5 in the flight!) so you can take them all outside with you. This was perfect for us, so we enjoyed the view! My mom ended up liking their Sauvignon Blanc a lot.

They had these gorgeous blooms growing up around the ceremony arch at their wedding location.

After that, it was about lunch time. We had to get sandwiches from the Village Cheese Shanty, so I called in our order (because lines to wait can be up to two hours--learned from experience!) We went into Fish Town in Leelanau to pick them up and then walked around for a few minutes before heading to the next place.

We ended at Boathouse Vineyards. Here we ate our sandwiches (no one seemed to mind) and each enjoyed a small glass. This winery is right on the channel that connects two lakes, so it's fun to see boats pass by, but we definitely thought French Valley Vineyard is the prettiest! My favorite wine here was Knot Too Sweet Riesling (but my mom says it's still sweet ha!) My dad said his favorite red came from here-- their 2012 Merlot.

Before heading out of town, we stopped at BLK MRKT coffee which we did last time as well. I don't drink coffee, but my family agreed it was delicious!

We really enjoyed our trip and were so thankful the sun decided to come out for day 2! 

If you've been, let me know some of your favorite wineries up in northern Michigan.

Happy Friday!
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