Discover Michigan's wine: cool climates, diverse wines, and passionate winemakers. From tranquil peninsulas to warm southern shores, an unforgettable journey.

Planning a journey through Michigan's wine region reveals a landscape rich in variety and steeped in the tradition of winemaking. From the picturesque sand dunes of Lake Michigan to vine-covered peninsulas, this wine travel guide will lead you through Michigan's wine destinations.

By the way, Michigan, famous for its succulent cherries and other agricultural delights, delivers a genuine farm-to-table experience with a cherry on top.

  • Where to Go
  • Wine-Focused Highlights Not to Miss
  • Other Sights You Can’t Miss
  • Getting There (When and How to Do it Best)
  • Additional Planning Resources

Explore the north of the Lower Peninsula. Photo by Courtney Jerome

Where to Go

Great Vineyard Destinations in Michigan's Northern AVAs

Traverse City and Petoskey serve as ideal bases for your wine exploration in Northern Michigan. Both cities offer easy access to wine trails along with many lodging options, ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts. Additionally, the culinary scene complements the wine experience, with numerous farm-to-table restaurants that highlight the region’s agricultural bounty.

Leelanau Peninsula AVA

A key destination for wine enthusiasts offering a diverse range of cool-climate wines like Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. With 25 wineries to visit, you can’t go wrong. Stretching 21 miles (34 km) north to south, this unique region is noted for wines with vibrant acidity and complexity.The picturesque landscapes also make it a must-visit.

Check out the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail to find out what’s on when you’re visiting.

Old Mission Peninsula AVA

Known for its stunning views and high quality, cool climate Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Noir. This 19 mile (31 km) stretch of rolling hills also has a Riesling for every palate. Extending into Grand Traverse Bay, Old Mission Peninsula is a very scenic wine touring experience. With 11 wineries to visit, make sure to give yourself enough time to see them all!

Check out the Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail to see what’s on when you visit.

Tip of the Mitt AVA

The newest and most northern AVA with a cooler climate that's experimenting with cold-hardy grape varieties. This area is perfect for adventurous wine travelers looking to explore emerging wine regions.

With over 20 wineries to visit, make sure you check out Petoskey Wine Trail to see them all.

Visit red grape country in the south. Photo by Dablon Vineyards in Lake Michigan Shore AVA.

Discover Michigan's Shore Wineries

For southern Michigan wine tours, check out Kalamazoo or St. Joseph. Both offer quick access to Lake Michigan Shore and Fennville AVAs, blending urban charm with scenic vineyard excursions. Enjoy vibrant dining, arts, and tranquil beach settings as you explore Michigan's renowned wine regions.

Lake Michigan Shore AVA

Enjoy a broad range of wines, including many red wines, thanks to the lake's moderating effects. With a winemaking history going back to 1867, you’ll find the oldest running winery in Michigan here. It’s also ideal for those visiting from Chicago as it’s the closest area to Illinois.

Make sure you check out all 15 wineries and check the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail for upcoming events.

Fennville AVA

The Fennville AVA, Michigan's first recognized wine region, is renowned for its boutique wineries that offer intimate tasting experiences amidst picturesque vineyards nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Visitors enjoying local hospitality at 2 Lad’s Winery on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Organize a Wine Tour

Experience organized tours from Traverse City or tours from Petoskey featuring guided tastings and behind-the-scenes insights. You can even rent a bicycle for the day and ride up and down Old Mission or Leelanau Peninsulas or through the vineyards of Tip of the Mitt with the wind at your back. You can also ride through various trails on the Lake Michigan Shore and then feel the sand between your toes.

A private wine tasting at Chateau Grand Traverse on the Old Mission Peninsula.

Other Sights You Can't Miss

Ponder the Universe

Michigan's skies transform at night into a stunning star show. Surrounded by darkness thanks to the Great Lakes, it offers unrivaled stargazing at six state Dark Sky Preserves and three international parks. Headlands International Dark Sky Park is close to Tip of the Mitt AVA.

Visit the amazing dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Photo by Parker McCullough.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

This National Park is an essential visit for its stunning dunes, clear waters, and scenic beauty. Perfect for hikers, families, and nature enthusiasts, it offers breathtaking views, beautiful beaches, and a chance to explore Michigan's natural wonders in a captivating setting. As a bonus, it’s close to Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas.

Experience the fall colors in Michigan. Photo by Aaron Burden

Experience The Tunnel of Trees

The Tunnel of Trees is one of Michigan's most iconic scenic drives, especially beautiful in the fall. The narrow road meanders through dense forests that create a tunnel-like canopy over the roadway. There are several pull-off points where visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding countryside. The drive is close to various vineyards in the Tip of the Mitt AVA, offering a peaceful and picturesque journey through Northern Michigan's natural beauty.

Michigan has the most lighthouses of any state.  Photo by: Ian Hutchinson

Visit a Lighthouse

Michigan’s coast is dotted with historic lighthouses. In fact, it has the most lighthouses of any state, even though it’s not on the ocean! A scenic drive along the coast can be a peaceful way to spend a day between winery visits.

Visit the Wild Upper Peninsula

For adventures in the Upper Peninsula, don't miss Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, showcasing stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities.

Getting There (When and How to Do it Best)

Best time to Visit

Late spring through early fall (May to October) offers the best weather for wine touring. Harvest season in September and October is particularly special, but visiting in the winter also can offer some amazing experiences if you’re ok with the cold.

How to Get There

Flying into Traverse City or Grand Rapids offers the most direct access to Michigan’s wine regions. Renting a car is advisable for flexibility in exploring the wineries and the scenic areas at your own pace.

If you’re coming from Detroit or Chicago, you can be in the vineyards within 1-2 hours drive or the northern AVAs within 4-5 hours.

Additional Planning Resources

We're geeks about Michigan wines, but not the local experts. So check out these additional resources to help plan your trip: