The wineries – along with our water, beaches and dunes – are a highlight of the Leelanau Peninsula. Follow the Leelanau Vintners’ Wine Trail Map to twenty-five vintners…many of them award-winning. We have favorites and are pleased to share. Just ask! Open daily late May through October, and Friday/Saturday/Sunday in early May. Although, as you are sure to suspect for 2020, tasting rooms have switched to outdoor patios and pours to pre-ordered flights. All are open, but best advice: Call ahead for hours and expectations.
Too, once upon a time there were special events among the wineries. But not to be in 2020. Not to be forgotten, we’ll keep the post and hope for 2021 returns. Wine Trail dreamin’ : “A Wine Lovers’ Guide”
As for microbreweries, it is all about Traverse City. Five microbreweries in walking distance right downtown and five more are a quick drive away. Given the size of the local hops crop now being cultivated, there must be more in the planning, too. “Paddle & Brew” and “TC Cycle” tours are novel means to make the rounds. Draftmagazine named TC one of America’s three newest Emerging Beer Towns.
Then, something new in the neighborhood. The innovative Iron Fish Distillery is, in their words, “a working farm dedicated to the practice of distilling small-batch craft spirits…Every step of the process –from growing and harvesting to cultivating native yeast, milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling, aging and bottling – is by hand.” Whiskey, rum and vodka spirits available, with more aging in casks. At Thompsonville in nearby Benzie County. We promise it is worth the trip.
The other option – and a very different one – is Northern Latitudes Distillery in Lake Leelanau. Stop here at the end of a Wine Tour to pick up a distinct spirit or two. Whaleback Spiced Rum? Apollo Horseradish Vodka? Jack Pine Gin? Deer Camp Whiskey?