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Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

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Annapolis, MD
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Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

Our group has 4 older adults that will be visiting TC area in mid-August. Anyone with suggestions of the top 5 vineyards to visit? There seem to be so many. Thanks!

Thompsonville...
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1. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

Do you want vineyard or tasting room? Are you looking for beautiful location or quality of wine?

My favorite locations for the views & experience include:

Chateau Chantel: Nestled in the vineyard, perched on a hill overlooking the bay

Two Lads: Very a-typical with a lot of clean lines and modern decor; best trained staff IMHO

Mawby: Also within the vineyard, outside porch, great tastings

Black Star (Leelanau Peninsula): Beautiful pastoral location; large tasting room, little cafe on property

Boathouse: Along the Narrows in Lake Leelanau; enjoy a glass while the boats go by

Detroit, Michigan
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2. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

I agree with upnorth. Mawby is my favorite vineyard to visit. I always purchase the tasting that comes with cheese and crackers.

I suggest adding Brengman Brothers to the list. They are friendly and the wines are very good.

Traverse City...
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3. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

Depending on how long you are planning to visit you might want to focus on one of the wine trails (Leelanau or Old Mission) as driving between the two peninsulas could take up some of your time. If you are planning on a full day of it then the drive is no big deal.

The suggestions above are great ones - especially Chateau Chantal as the views are gorgeous and the wine is superb.

Traverse City...
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4. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

With your trip just a couple of weeks away, I see there is an offer out there now thru "Migreatdeals.com", (4 adults, $200, Old Mission wineries) if you think you might be interested in taking the pressure off the DD.

Traverse City...
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5. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

Hopping on this a little late, but I'll offer up my suggestions, in no particular order.

1) Bowers Harbor (Old Mission)--their recently remodeled tasting room is lovely, and they also offer wine "flights" as well as wines and bottles by the glass--which you can drink while sitting outside at a table overlooking the vineyard showcasing distant bay views. Staff is engaging and helpful as well--and, if you're lucky--their friendly mascot, Brix (a Burnese Mountain Dog) will be roaming the grounds, too.

2) Black Star Farms (Leelanau). While BSF has two other locations, BSF in Sutton's Bay is my favorite. Large tasting room, good array of wines to try, and, while you pay for the glass, you can use that glass for future tastings. So, gee, if you *happen* to be over at the Mission side at Bowers, why not stop into the other BSF Mission spot (off McKinley) and bring your glass in with you for another (free!) tasting.

3) Blustone (Leelanau). "Modern industrial" is a good way to describe this recently opened winery. But lovely views from the tasting room itself, along with some very good wines (their recent Pinot Noir is really good), make this a worthy stop as well.

4) Willow (Leelanau) Tiny tasting room run by two really really nice people. Note they only have five wines, so you won't get a lot of diversity here, but the wines are well-made and the view of the west bay is stunning.

5) Brys Estate (Mission) Brys is a good bet if you're looking for a diversity of wines to try and taste. While I think their reds are better than their whites, their Gewurtztraminer (when available) is a standout. You can also buy wines by the glass, and sit on their patio, but the al fresco tasting experience is better at Bowers.

I'm gonna dissent on the recommendations on Chateau Chantal. Great view and holy-moly gorgeous setting. But the wines are, well, not as good as others in the area, and I've rarely found the staff there to be welcoming or gracious. I always feel that they are about to yell, "next!" when I leave the tasting bar.

One last note--I have not recently tried the wines at Hawthorne Vineyards (Old Mission), but I did pop into their recently opened tasting room just as they were closing. The place is stunning, with great views. I gotta get back to see if the wine is a good as the location.

Edited: 05 August 2013, 16:51
Traverse City...
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6. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

Wow - And this after ChCh just won a bunch of medals last year and has been named as "Winery of the Year". Guess it just goes to show what they say aboout opinions. Still, based on all thee awards they've won, I'd suggest the OP at least give the wines a try while s/he enjoys the views that we all seem to agree on. But this all begs the question...This post is almost 2 weeks old, but we haven't heard anything back from B62. Still reading?

Wisconsin
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7. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

Where would I purchased the best red wine, Merlot is what I usually prefer.

Traverse City...
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8. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

I do believe "the best red wine" will vary by the person, no? And if you mean you want the vintner's opinion...I'm pretty sure they'll say their own. Or are you maybe asking for the name of a good wine shop in the area?

Wisconsin
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9. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

My husband is not into wine so we will only be doing one or two wineries so wanted one that would have a good Merlot.

Traverse City...
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10. Re: Top 5 vineyard to tour in the TC area

Here is a link to all of the Old Mission wineries. As you'll see, most offer a Merlot. And if you don't want to actually make the trip (thinking of your husband), you could gather a few vineyard/wine names, then go into one of the local wine shops and chance a purchase. Another thought is that if you will be dining out, you could have a glass (or two) with your meal, leaving your spouse to his drink of choice. But if you DO want to make the winery trip...it sounds like your husband might serve as a great chauffeur!