Tour Leelanau's Luscious Wine Country

Not a bad seat in the car as you cruise north on this orchard- and vineyard-covered peninsula’s wine trail. With 21 wineries in this news-making wine country, it’s best to appoint a DD or use one of the region’s tour services (VININN.COM/WINERIES, CELTICSHUTTLES.COM and more at LPWINES.COM). One tour we like: Leelanau Cellars, perched above the blue half-moon of Omena Bay, Raftshol’s centennial cherry farm-turned-vineyard, Shady Lane Cellars in the sweet little stone chicken coop andCiccone Vineyard and Winery, where the man with a famous daughter enjoys his own fame for winemaking. Find more at In the meantime, consider these three highlights.

Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery

Visitors arriving mid- summer will taste inside a new rough-hewn, Amish-made kit barn. A refreshing, crisp Pinot Gris and gorgeous Pinot Noir Rosé are earning acclaim, and don’t miss the Reserve Chardonnay or house-specialty mead made with local honey and cold pressed apricots and peaches. 8580 E. HORN RD., LAKE LEELANAU, 231-271-1188, FORTYFIVENORTH.COM.

Black Star Farms

This rambling agri-estate with the bright red barns has an onsite CSA garden, creamery with award-winning raclette cheese, a petting farm (complete, in the springtime, with a darling baby mini-horse) winery and distillery. Step into the soaring-ceilinged tast- ing room for the Cab Franc, Late Harvest Riesling, Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay and spectacular dessert wines starring Up North fruits and forages: cherry, pear and maple. 10844 E. REVOLD RD., SUTTONS BAY, 231-944-1271, BLACKSTARFARMS.COM.

L. Mawby Vineyards

Larry Mawby’s quirky signage, saucy wine labels (Sex, Wet or Fizz anyone?) and, of course, extremely fine bubbly add to the good vibes at this all-sparkling winery. Snack on whitefish pâté and breathe in the pastoral meadow backdrop as you sip from a flight of champagne flutes. 4519 S. ELM VALLEY RD., SUTTONS BAY, 231-271-3522, LMAWBY.COM.

Tips, Tours and Travel in Traverse City, Old Mission and Leelanau Wine Country

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