The Ultimate Wine Tasting Weekend

Whether it’s only for a day or the length of a long weekend, you’ll find time spent experiencing the award-winning wines and wineries of Southwest Michigan well worth the trip.

Wine connoisseurs have discovered that the Fennville and Lake Michigan Shore AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), part of Michigan’s Fruit Belt region, are ideal for growing wine grapes. A longer growing season—thanks to the lake-effect climate—and sandy, neutral soil results in wines that are very fruit-forward in flavor. Receiving increased national recognition of their quality, Southwest Michigan wines are among the best the state has to offer.

For a weekend focused on wine tasting, we suggest making a stop at each of these wineries:

Fenn Valley Vineyards and Winery is located near Fennville and has an additional tasting room in downtown Saugatuck. Offering award-winning red, white, sparkling, and specialty wines, Fenn Valley also conducts educational wine tasting tours and special events during every season.

Bringing generations of farming traditions and only the best fruit into the world of wine, Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant and Winery in Fennville features award-winning small batch white, red, and fruit wines. While you’re there for a wine tasting, we recommend staying and having a slice of one of their incredible pies.

Michigan Wine Co., our newest local winery, creates small batch Michigan wines that evoke both a sense of place and emotion. Their estate-grown grapes are all white wine varieties, from European vinifera to brand new American hybrids. Located in Fennville, 2020 will mark the opening of their tasting room.

No wine tasting weekend would be complete without a stop to Modales Wines. Recently called out in Condé Nast Traveler ‘s “20 Places to Go in 2020” as a winery that’s “elevating Michigan wine,” Modales offers small batch, handcrafted, estate-grown red, white, and sparkling wines. Nestled in the heart of the fruit belt in Fennville, the winery has a large patio that overlooks their 76-acre farm, providing the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Wyncroft Wine, open by appointment only on weekends in April through September, is a not-to-be-missed stop along the wine trail. Wyncroft patterns their premium wines in the classical tradition, operating in the style of a tiny French garagiste winery. Wyncroft’s production is extremely small, less than 2,000 cases annually, to produce low yields of intense concentration. The winery has built a loyal following by focusing exclusively on European grape varieties and techniques.

Located between South Haven and Saugatuck is Cogdal Vineyards, which offers their signature Cogdal Vineyard wines made from estate-grown and selectively sourced grapes as well as their Little Man Wines, a collection of bold and eclectic wine blends. Cogdal also offers a specialty wine made with maple syrup harvested from the vineyard property.

For even more Southwest Michigan wineries to explore, check out the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail website for maps and suggestions.

For a memorable and even more relaxing experience, private 4-hour (or longer) wine tasting tours can be chartered through Coastal Tours. Along with offering tour planning assistance, a designated driver, and door-to-door pick-up and drop-off, the tour company has also negotiated discounts at many of the wineries. Other convenient and worry-free transportation services and wine tours can be chartered through Untapped Sights & Tours or Singapore Shuttles.

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