Uncorking the best Traverse City wineries

Photo of author

| Updated:

Welcome to the heart of Michigan’s wine country, where rolling hills, picturesque landscapes and a thriving wine culture meet. Traverse City is nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan and has earned its reputation as a hidden gem in the world of winemaking. 

A person holding a glass of red wine in front of a field.
Photo Credit: Lara Clevenger.

Begin your adventure by immersing yourself in the enchanting vineyards of the Traverse City landscape. From Old Mission Peninsula to Leelanau County, each winery boasts its own charm and character. Explore the meticulously maintained vineyards, take in the breathtaking views and discover the dedication that goes into cultivating the perfect grape. 

Positioned on the 45th Parallel, Traverse City aligns perfectly with Europe’s esteemed wine regions like Bordeaux and Piedmont. The grapes owe their success to the natural insulation from Lake Michigan, the nutrient-rich soil and extended sunlight hours fostering prolonged growing seasons. 

If you love these Traverse City wineries, check out these other wineries that Florence, Oregon and Tuscany have to offer. 

Traverse City wineries

Traverse City is a haven for wine enthusiasts seeking to explore the diverse and thriving world of winemaking. Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, Traverse City boasts a collection of wineries committed to producing exceptional wines. 

Michigan is home to numerous wineries that contribute to the region’s growing reputation as a wine destination. Elevate your tasting experience with flights that not only tantalize your taste buds but also offer stunning views. 

Many Traverse City wineries boast tasting rooms perched on hilltops or overlooking the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan. Sample a diverse selection of wines while taking in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Traverse City wineries pride themselves on their diverse portfolio of varietals and unique blends. From crisp and refreshing whites to bold and robust reds, the region’s climate and soil contribute to a wide array of flavors. Discover hidden gems and signature wines that capture the essence of this distinctive wine region.

The local wineries, nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, produce a diverse range of wines, including crisp whites and robust reds, with an emphasis on cool-climate varietals like Riesling and Pinot Noir. Visitors often revel in the welcoming atmosphere of the Traverse City wine country, where they can savor exquisite vintages while taking in the breathtaking views of rolling vineyards and crystal-clear waters.

— Sherry, From Michigan to the Table
Get your copy today!
FDL’s Best Bites: 75 Tasty Recipes

Filled with appetizers, salads, sides, mains and desserts, Food Drink Life's cookbook will become your favorite!

In this ebook, you will find:
  • Easy and delicious recipes from a variety of top chefs and recipe developers.
  • Bright, colorful pictures on every page.
  • Printer-friendly recipes that you can download instantly to your device.
  • Printable shopping list and a kitchen conversion sheet.
Buy it Now

Rove Winery at the Gallagher Estate

Situated at an elevation of 1,100 feet, the Rove Estate tasting room provides a rare glimpse of the Leelanau countryside. This height ensures optimal vineyard conditions with southern-exposed slopes, ample sunlight and frost protection due to efficient cool-air drainage—ideal for cultivating premium estate-grown grapes.

A table with wine glasses and a view of a vineyard.
Rove Estate. Photo Credit: Lara Clevenger.

Chateau Chantal

Perched on a hill overlooking Grand Traverse Bay, Chateau Chantal invites visitors to indulge in a grand experience. Explore their vineyards, enjoy panoramic views and savor their exquisite wines. 

Black Star Farms Old Mission

Just a brief journey along the picturesque M-37, amidst the enchanting landscapes and panoramic East Grand Traverse Bay views, you’ll discover Black Star Farms Old Mission. Its tasting room features a distinctive round bar crafted from wine barrels, a welcoming fireplace and an impressive selection of acclaimed wines and spirits. 

Brengman Brothers

Situated just 5 miles from downtown Traverse City on the Leelanau Peninsula, Brengman Brothers Winery epitomizes a refined wine experience. Owned and operated by two brothers with a three-generation legacy in hospitality and farming, their 45-acre vineyard offers a tranquil setting to enjoy a glass of wine and delectable small plates. 

Chateau Grand Traverse

Embark on a full-fledged wine country adventure at the oldest winery in Northern Michigan. Chateau Grand Traverse is renowned for its expertise in Riesling, red wines and fruit wines, presenting a delightful array of wine tastings, wine by the glass and enticing charcuterie options.

Bonobo Winery

Founded by brothers and longtime residents of Traverse City, Todd and Carter Oosterhouse, Bonobo Winery strives to provide world-class wines in a rustic yet elegant setting. Their vision includes a breathtaking view and a business model inspired by the close harmony of the region’s traditions, philosophies and ecological integrity. 

Mari Vineyards

Transport yourself to Italy at Mari Vineyards, where the architecture is inspired by Italian landscapes and the focus is on producing high-quality red wines. With a commitment to sustainable practices, Mari Vineyards offers a unique and immersive winemaking experience. 

A large building with a large rock in the middle of a grassy field.
Mari Vineyards. Photo Credit: Lara Clevenger.

Tabone Vineyard

For nearly two decades, Tabone Vineyards has cultivated wine grapes in Traverse City. Crafting estate-grown wines in small batches, their offerings include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and more.

Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery

Set against the stunning backdrop of Old Mission Peninsula, Brys Estate is a 155-acre estate renowned for its elegant tasting room and diverse wine offerings. From crisp whites to robust reds, Brys Estate is a must-visit for those seeking a taste of Old Mission’s viticultural excellence.

Left Foot Charley

Nestled in the historic surroundings of the former Northern Michigan Asylum in Traverse City, Left Foot Charley offers a Michigan twist on an Austrian Heuriger. Embracing a non-traditional setting, locals and visitors appreciate how it harmonizes seamlessly with Left Foot Charley’s distinctive approach to fruit sourcing and traditional winemaking. 

Peninsula Cellars

Nestled on the Old Mission Peninsula, just six miles north of Traverse City, discover Peninsula Cellars, a 19th-century one-room schoolhouse tasting room. Under the stewardship of the Kroupa family since 1994, Peninsula Cellars focuses on crafting regionally expressive wines with minimal environmental impact. 

A bunch of green grapes on a vine.
Photo Credit: Lara Clevenger.

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Nestled between Center Road and Peninsula Drive on the Old Mission Peninsula, Bowers Harbor Vineyards is a family-owned winery with sweeping views of Grand Traverse Bay. 

2 Lads Winery

2 Lads Winery blends modern architecture with traditional winemaking techniques on Old Mission Peninsula. Take in the sleek design as you explore their diverse selection of cool-climate wines crafted to perfection in the heart of Michigan wine country. They prioritize sustainable farming for the well-being of their soil, vines and grapes.

Hawthorne Vineyards

Discover Hawthorne Vineyards, an idyllic vineyard and tasting room just a short four-mile drive from Traverse City on the Old Mission Peninsula. Resting on a 40-acre site perched above Peninsula Drive, the location offers picturesque vistas of East and West Grand Traverse Bays. 

Traverse City’s wineries beckon, promising a delightful journey through the flavors and landscapes that define Michigan’s wine country. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, the wineries of Traverse City offer a diverse experience, each sip telling a story of the region’s viticultural prowess. 

If you’re looking for more things to do in Michigan, why not check out Muskegon State Park which is just a few short hours south and nestled on the coast of Lake Michigan. 

Lara is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Personal Trainer. She is also a photographer and recipe developer and has a food and travel blog, Lara Clevenger. She shares easy recipes that are mostly low-carb, along with some bowling and travel adventures. Whether you’re cooking with an air fryer, Blackstone or Instant Pot, she has you covered with healthy recipes.

This article originally appeared on On A Permanent Vacation.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.