Unlike most of the Wine Trails in Michigan that hug the shorelines of the Great Lakes, The Pioneer Wine Trail is spread out across central Michigan farm land. Without the Lake Effect breezes, it can be more challenging growing grapes in this area. Many of the wineries have adopted cold hearty varietals that can stand up to the long cold Michigan winters. These folks work extra hard to make their amazing wines. Definitely plan a visit to the Pioneer Wine Trail to see what exciting things and interesting locations they have to offer.
This Winery started out in the garage of fun loving husband and wife, Dave and Debbie Burgdorf. Their combined experience in Microbiology and Vegetation makes them the perfect wine making team. They have expanded to a new production facility, but still do their tastings from the original renovated garage space. Located in Haslett, they are the furthest Winery north on the Pioneer Wine Trail. Worth the trip!
My wine pick here is their Award winning SYRAH.
This Winery was started in the Airplane Hanger of the Owner at his home on a Private Air Strip in Jackson. He has added and then expanded a lovely Gazebo Tasting Room but you can still get tours of the original Hanger and production area. Chateau Aeronautique has also opened a second Tasting Room in the Irish Hills.
My wine pick here is the 2012 AVIATRIX CRIMSON a bourdeaux style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon – Gold Medal
The Cherry Creek Cellars was once an old School House. It is located in the Irish Hills, minutes from several lakes and Michigan International Speedway. They offer a cafe, outdoor pergola seating and a large selection of gifts available in their Tasting Room. During the summer they often feature live entertainment.
My wine pick here is 2013 LYNN ALEKSANDR TRAMINETTE – A Semi Dry White – Silver Medal
Great Outdoor venue in the countryside of Lenawee County. The Tasting Bar is located on a covered section of their huge patio. They are currently working on an addition for the 2019 Tasting season. They feature live music every Friday throughout the summer.
Grab some friends and head out to “The Otter” some Friday night to enjoy a bottle of wine and some lively entertainment on the deck by regular performer, Cat Canyon.
My wine pick here is their NOIRET.
J. Trees Winery is located in a renovated Old Mill building in Tecumseh. They have a small cafe and bistro seating in their Tasting Room. In addition to their Wines, they feature, Ciders and Sparkling Riesling. Make sure you try the ever popular Cinful Hard Cider.
My wine pick here is the SPARKLING RIESLING
Pentamere Winery is one of the friendliest places you will visit. Their Tasting Room is located in the quaint town of Tecumseh, just a mile or so from J. Trees. They have an extensive wine list with something for everyone.
Plan a trip to Tecumseh to do tastings at J. Trees and Pentamere. I recommend visiting the Cheese Shop and having a bite at the Tecumseh Brewery.
My wine pick here is the 2012 MONKS HAVEN MERLOT
Sandhill Crane Vineyards is located of I-94 in Leoni Township. It is the largest of the wineries on the Trail tucked into a beautiful country setting with a huge wrap around deck. They also have a cafe where you can order a charcuterie board, soups, salads or sandwiches.
The staff is a fun loving bunch but still very knowledgeable about wine. Sandhill is a family owned business and makes everyone feel welcome. Wine Maker, Holly Balansag, is incredibly creative and makes fantastic wines. My husband and I have been visiting Sandhill Crane almost from the beginning when they opened in 2003.
My wine pick here is the ESTATE CHANCELLOR
Stay tuned…..Next week full feature article on Sandhill Crane Vineyards!!