Fennville AVA

Discover Fennville, Michigan's first & smallest wine region, where unique terroir crafts exceptional artisanal wines in an intimate setting.

Fennville AVA, nestled within the larger Lake Michigan Shore AVA, stands out as Michigan's pioneering wine region. Established in 1981 (the same year as Napa Valley), it was actually the third AVA ever to be established in the USA.

Despite its small size, Fennville boasts a unique terroir, marked by sandy soils and a strong Lake Effect. This combination allows winemakers to grow more red grapes that sometimes struggle to ripen elsewhere in the state, like Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and even Blaufränkisch.

This small but mighty AVA is celebrated for its diverse array of grape varietals and the concentrated flavors they express, truly capturing the essence of the region.

Fennville AVA - Michigan Wine Company grapes at harvest time

Geography and Climate:

Fennville AVA benefits from a distinctive microclimate, courtesy of its proximity to Lake Michigan. This geographical advantage brings a moderating influence that is pivotal in creating the AVA's unique wine growing conditions.

The sandy soils in Fennville are distinct from the surrounding Lake Michigan Shore AVA and play a crucial role in defining the area's viticulture. These soils not only facilitate drainage but also contribute to the development of more concentrated and perfumed flavors in the wines. They also warm up quickly in the spring, allowing vines to bud earlier, which can help elongate the growing season - perfect for some red grape varieties.

Viticulture and Winemaking:

Thanks to the proximity to the lake, the viticulture in Fennville AVA supports a wide variety of grape varieties including Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Blaufränkisch, Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris.

Quick Facts:


Wikipedia: Fennville AVA

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

Selected Fennville AVA Wineries