Learn about Michigan's 5 major wine regions that are shaped by the Great Lakes' majestic influence.

Wine Regions of Michigan

Nestled in the upper midwest of the United States, Michigan is distinguished not just by its size (it's the largest state east of the Mississippi), but also by its rich landscape, marked by the longest freshwater shoreline in the U.S. thanks to the Great Lakes.

Michigan is home to 5 AVAs (American Viticulture Areas) and it's the 7th largest producer of wine grapes in America.

Fennville AVA

America’s 3rd ever AVA and situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, this place has some great history and wines.

Lake Michigan Shore AVA

Accounting for 40% of Michigan's wine, this is a must know warmer region situated a short drive away from Chicago. If you’re looking for red wines, check this place out.

Leelanau Peninsula AVA

Sitting at the same latitude as Bordeaux and Michigan’s 2nd AVA, this is the fastest growing region in the state. In fact, Leelanau Peninsula and Old Mission Peninsula combined produce 55% of the state’s wine.

Old Mission Peninsula AVA

This is where Riesling reigns supreme. With just a handful of wineries close to each other, it’s an easy and worthwhile place to explore.

Tip of the Mitt AVA

The newest AVA, this northern region is one of the most extreme but offers great examples of both hybrid and Vitis vinifera grape varieties.

Chateau Chantal during harvest in the Old Mission Peninsula AVA

Getting a Lay of the Land

At the core of Michigan's diverse ecosystems and landscapes are its two peninsulas: the Upper and Lower.

The Upper Peninsula, with its forested terrain and rugged hills, hugs the shorelines of Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, making it an outdoor-lover's paradise.

On Lake Michigan (the 5th largest lake on earth by area) we find the state's wine culture situated between 41° and 49° north latitude. The Lower Peninsula is where the majority of Michigan's vineyards find their home, along the shores of Lake Michigan, and in rolling hills known for orchards and vineyards.

Early morning frost at Petoskey Farms Vineyard in Tip of the Mitt AVA.

How to get there?

Strategically located near major urban centers, Michigan's vineyards offer easy access to wine enthusiasts. A brief hour's drive connects Grand Rapids to the vineyards of Fennville and the Lake Michigan Shore AVAs, while those in Detroit or Chicago can reach them in 2-3 hours or the northern AVAs within 4-5 hours.

This accessibility, combined with the distinct cool climate and lake effect, makes Michigan a compelling destination for those seeking to explore the state's natural beauty and wine trails at the same time.

Michigan Wine Region Facts
  • There are 3605 vineyard acres (1460 hectares) for wine grapes.
  • Over 50 different grape varieties are planted here.
  • There are close to 150 wineries.
  • There have been commercial vineyards since the mid-1800s.
  • Fennville was the 1st AVA in Michigan and the 3rd in the USA, established in 1981.
  • The most planted grape variety is Riesling.
  • Tip of the Mitt is the newest AVA, established in 2016.
  • No point in the state is more than six miles (9.7 km) from a natural water source.
  • Michigan has the most lighthouses of any state.
  • Michigan is the 11th largest state in the US.


♦ Drinks Business, Wine Production by State

♦ Michigan Wine Country, Michigan Wine Country AVAs

♦ Taste the Local Difference, What's Your Michigan AVA?