5 winery picks in Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country

///5 winery picks in Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country

5 winery picks in Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country

California’s Napa and Sonoma wine country deservedly receives national and international attention. However, the United States has more noteworthy wine-producing regions, including one off the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan.

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country enjoys a moderate climate, free from extreme heat and cold, which bears similarities to that of several known European wine areas. The trail includes 13 wineries, some located near the Indiana-Michigan border, others stretching north along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and northeast towards the city of Kalamazoo (see map below).

The region’s proximity to Chicago (about 1.5 hrs away) makes it an easy weekend or day trip. It is well-worth a visit for its award-winning wines and a laid-back vibe.

On the wine trail

Here are five recommended wineries, all in the southwestern corner of Michigan.

Lemon Creek Winery & Fruit Farm
533 E. Lemon Creek Rd.
Berrien Springs, MI 49103
Phone: (269) 471-1321

Located on a 300-acre farm, Lemon Creek specializes in both grape and fruit growing. There are close to 30 wines on the menu, including Cabernet Sauvignon (the Lemon family were the first winemakers in the state to commercially plant the grape varietal) and the recent addition, Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Wine. A souvenir glass is included in the price of a wine flight.

Jetting Around’s choice: Grands Lacs Blanc

Souvenir glass at Lemon Creek Winery

Domaine Berrien Cellars
398 East Lemon Creek Rd.
Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103
Phone:(269) 473-WINE (9463)

A short walk from Lemon Creek, the winery is surrounded by an 80-acre farm and has been certified by the state for implementing environmentally-sound practices. In summertime, an outdoor sitting area is open and visitors can enjoy it over wine and locally-produced delicacies. Domaine Berrien grows over 20 grape types and is known for Rhone varietals (e.g. Viognier, Marsanne).

Jetting Around’s choice: 2010 Marsanne

In the vineyard outside Domaine Berrien Cellars

Gravity
10220 Lauer Rd.
Baroda, MI 49101
Phone:(269) 471-9463

Established in 2011, the small-batch Gravity is a new addition to the wine country. The tasting room is located on a hill overlooking the vineyard and a lake, with seating both indoors and outdoors. Each wine in a flight comes with cheese or chocolate. When visiting the winery, you may be greeted by a friendly dog named Oliver.

Jetting Around’s choice: Pinot Gris

Wine flight at Gravity

Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant
185 Mount Tabor Rd.
Buchanan MI 49107
Phone:(800) 283-3363

The large winery was founded in 1968 and has received many awards for its wines. It was the first one to grow the European venifera grape in the American Midwest. Besides wine tastings, Tabor Hill offers guided tours of the vineyard and production facilities. A chocolate boutique and restaurant with views of the surrounding hills are also found on site.

Jetting Around’s choice: Vintage 2010 Chardonel

Choices…

Round Barn Winery
10983 Hills Rd.
Baroda, MI 49101
Phone: (800) 716-WINE (9463)

In addition to wine, Round Barn produces microbrews and spirits (there are separate tasting rooms for wine and beer) and is known for its DiVine vodka made from grapes. The barn from which the winery takes its name dates back to 1911 and was moved from Indiana to the current location.

Jetting Around’s choice: Vineyard Tears

Tokens at Round Barn Winery are good for wine and beer tasting

More information about the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country can be found on its official website and Facebook.

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By | 2017-03-04T18:32:03+00:00 July 25th, 2012|Around Cities|35 Comments

About the Author:

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Pola Henderson is a travel writer, city explorer, expat, and event host. Traveling has been a part of her life since she was three. Pola grew up in Krakow, lived in Chicago for many years and is currently based in Paris, where she teaches Business English.

35 Comments

  1. avatar
    Aaron July 26, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Great places you went to on your day trip! Not many people think of Michigan as a wine producing region. Some places to checkout sometime soon. Round Barn Winery looks intriguing with all the different taste testing options.
    Aaron recently posted..Florida: The Sarasota Bayfront Part II.My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      I can’t believe I’m so close to a wine country and it took me years to visit it! Thanks to a friend who moved to SW Michigan, I discovered the wineries, chocolate factories and orchards. It’s now one of my favorite areas in the US. If you get a chance, do check out the places (Round Barn is definitely a lot of fun!)

    • avatar
      Sarah @ Wine Clubs February 15, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      My husband and I absolutely loved the Round Barn Winery Aaron. I can’t recommend it enough when you come to the area.

      • avatar
        Jetting Around February 16, 2017 at 3:49 am

        Hi Sarah, great to hear! I’ve been back there since writing the post. :)

  2. avatar
    Gina July 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I love wine country in Michigan. Actually got engaged at one of the wineries there!
    Gina recently posted..One Day in RomeMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      How nice, Gina! This must have been such a lovely trip. :))

  3. avatar
    Leah Travels July 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I had no clue that they grew grapes in Michigan. I’m a sucker for a wine trail, so this would so much fun for me. Very cool, Pola.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Travel Through the Eyes of a First-Time FlyerMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 26, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Don’t feel bad – it took me a while to figure it out too… :) But now that I know of this great area, I have a feeling I’ll be back.

  4. avatar
    Josie July 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Hey Pola,
    Now you’re in my neck of the woods! Conrad and I live in Ann Arbor. (haven’t been “home” there in much in the last 2 years) But yes, we too love that Lake Michigan coast for fun discoveries.
    Thanks for showing me a bit of home!
    ~Josie
    Josie recently posted..Goofy GoogleMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      How cool, Josie! I didn’t know you were from there. It’s a beautiful area and I can’t wait to explore it some more.

  5. avatar
    Karla July 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    That is great Pola!

    Your post just made me thirsty ha ha I love wine & this looks incredible.

    Beautiful pics. One day I’ll visit :)
    Karla recently posted..Weekly Photo Challenge: InsideMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Sorry for making you thirsty, haha! :) I’m glad you like the post, Karla, and I hope you get to visit the wine country. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. avatar
    the lazy travelers July 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    we never turn down a wine tasting, no matter the region! …does that mean we have a problem?
    the lazy travelers recently posted..no travel requiredMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      Haha, I think it only means you’re explorers. ;-)

  7. avatar
    @mrsoaroundworld July 27, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Now there is something very interesting! I am amazed how the US have been really “improving” in their wines – I am not being patronising or condescending. It is something recent, but like most things in the country, when you guys decide to “do” something, it is just a matter of time. Thanks to my trips to the US, I have become a great fan of American wines, and have done some wine tasting trips. Find it very interesting that there are lots of up and coming wine making regions and had no idea that one could find these in this area. Thank you so much!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..Shopping in Rome and boarding my first cruiseMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 27, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Thank you for your insights, Ana! I’ve lived in the US for 10 years, and the way I view the country has naturally evolved from an outsider’s perspective to a mixed European-American one. Reading your thoughts put me back in my Euro shoes for a moment and I thank you for that. :) It is truly amazing how in a short period of time America is able to achieve stellar results in many fields. That being said, I appreciate both the traditions of European wine-making, and the still-evolving US grape-growing industry. I’m glad to have discovered Michigan’s wine and still can’t believe how close I am to the area…

  8. avatar
    Kieu July 27, 2012 at 6:48 am

    You had me at “5 winery..” LOL. I’m digging the flight tray at Gravity. Didn’t know Lake Mich had vineyards. :P

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 27, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Haha, nice… :) As for that flight – it was really good. The chocolate and cheese definitely added to the experience.

  9. avatar
    D.J. - The World of Deej July 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Having just returned from Napa, I’m interested to learn more about other wine regions. I wouldn’t have thought Michigan for sure!
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Restaurant Gary Danko – San FranciscoMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      It took me a while too to discover this region, but am I glad I did! ;-)

  10. avatar
    Nathan Nehmer (@Cardinaltravel) July 28, 2012 at 7:18 am

    That is a great read. We also have a few good wineries north of you here in Wisconsin. In Prairie du Sac there is the Wollershiem Winery, who most famous wine is their Prairie Fume’. They are nestled right along the Wisconsin River where it is really beautiful.
    In addition to Wollershiem their are a few wineries in Door County, the “thumb part” of Wisconsin. With some of the most beautiful scenery around, some of these wineries make some cherry wines. Plus while your here in Wisconsin you need to stop for cheese ;)

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 28, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Hi Nathan, welcome! Thank you for letting me know about the Wisconsin wineries. I do go “north of the border” quite regularly and now I have another area to check out.

  11. avatar
    lola July 28, 2012 at 7:53 am

    you really take such gorgeous photos, Pola. AND fab shout out for the other wineries out there in the USA. maybe we can take a day to do this when i next visit Chicago. i always adore a good wine tour :)
    lola recently posted..Cambodia Countdown – week 4My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Come back to Chi and we’ll do the road trip, Lola! And thank you for the kind words about my photos. :)

  12. avatar
    Traveling Ted July 28, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I have driven past these wineries many times on the way to Detroit and the Dunes. I will have to check them out sometime.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Puebla, Mexico Talavera Workshop Tour and the Stairway to HeavenMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Definitely try some of these places when you get a chance, Ted. Great area, great times. :)

  13. avatar
    Tawny- Captain and Clark July 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I love that Gravity pairs their wine with either cheese or chocolate. You’ve pretty much got a collection of all of my favorite things right there. Great pictures, as always!
    Tawny- Captain and Clark recently posted..Travel Gear. Never drop your iphone again! [Video Review]My Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 30, 2012 at 2:22 am

      You can’t go wrong with that pairing… :)

  14. avatar
    Craig Zabransky July 30, 2012 at 1:22 am

    I think I agree with nearly everyone – Michigan wine? Who knew? Great photos…

    thanks for educating.
    stay thirsty, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Tips on the Four Ways to Tour AmsterdamMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around July 30, 2012 at 2:21 am

      Thanks, Craig! Happy to spread the word about this wine country. :)

  15. avatar
    Cathy Sweeney August 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Now that’s an area of the country I haven’t visited in a long time. When I was a kid in Chicago, we spent time in various parts of Michigan. With some wineries to visit, it might be time for me to get back there. I didn’t know what Rhone varietals would be grown there.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Three Favorite Travel MemoriesMy Profile

    • avatar
      Jetting Around August 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Catherine. Michigan is quickly becoming one of my favorite states – there is so much to do there around the lake. I hope you get to visit the area soon. :) The Rhone varietals surprised me too – Marsanne is really good!
      Jetting Around recently posted..Photo of the Week: San Francisco skylineMy Profile

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