Leelanau Peninsula extends about 30 miles out on Lake Michigan and has a cool, even climate ideal for hosting a wide array of wineries. There are 25 wineries in the region, comprising the oldest and longest wine trail in Michigan. Award-winning wines from the peninsula include Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Here are a few aspects to consider before booking your next tour:
Transportation is Included
If you plan a winery tour through a tour company, all transportation is included. The vehicle will be spacious, clean, and reliable, giving you a chance to chat, hang out, and enjoy the views. In addition, having a driver means you do not have to stress about locations, directions, traffic, or parking. Leave all the details to your driver and enjoy the ride. Do not hesitate to chat with the winemakers along the trail for insights on ingredients and flavors, the winemaking process, and suggested wines or pairings based on your taste preferences.
Types of Tours
Leelanau Peninsula wine tours can take three different routes: the Sleeping Bear Loop, the Northern Loop, and the Grand Traverse Bay Loop. Your touring company may choose one of these mini-trails or mix and match wineries along the way. A classic tour typically lasts about four hours with stops at four or five wineries. This may include Silver Leaf, Leelanau Wine Cellars, Black Star Farms, L. Mawby, Forty-Five North, and more.
Fun tours are also available, which have more emphasis on the adventurous and playful aspects of tasting and touring. Stops may include both wineries and distilleries, giving you a chance to try wine, craft beers, ciders, and more. Some stops have nearby eateries so you can try the local cuisine. If you want, a good tour company will give you the opportunity to substitute some stops or otherwise customize your tour.
Benefits of a Private Tour
Private tours give you the chance to explore wine country without the hassle. Many touring companies give you the chance to either join a group tour or create a private one with your own small or large group of friends. Wine tours a fantastic idea for special events such as birthday, bachelor, or bachelorette parties. You can also plan a “just for fun” trip to enjoy exploring the area and bonding with your friends along the way.
If you are traveling with a very small group or want a romantic afternoon with a loved one, consider joining a group tour. Most of the Leelanau Peninsula wine trail tour groups are small, so you will never feel like you are being herded through in a crowd. A well-constructed winery tour gives you the chance to relax, unwind, and simply enjoy the day.
Be aware that some wineries charge additional fees to tastings in addition to your group tour fee. Thankfully, many of the tastings on the Leelanau Peninsula are free. Each winery and tasting room is different, but most include unparalleled views of the Lake Michigan shoreline.
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