May has been proclaimed Michigan Wine Month by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. According to the official proclamation, Michigan’s wine and wine grape industry contributes $5.4 billion in economic impact. That includes a whopping $253 million in tourism spending. It also supports more than 47,000 jobs. That makes it an industry worth honoring, and let’s face it, there are few proclamations that are easier to celebrate than this one. This is especially true since May means there are many new releases to sample around the state. Here are eight great ways to celebrate Michigan Wine Month.
Check Out Traverse City Uncorked
Did you know that 55% of our state’s wine grapes are grown in the Traverse City region? Consequently, it should come as no surprise that a visit to T.C. is one of the best ways to celebrate Michigan Wine Month. The city is hosting its annual TC Uncorked event. This year’s event features a self-guided tour powered by a digital passport valid throughout the month of May. Check in at five or more wineries using the digital passport, and you’ll get to choose between an Uncorked t-shirt, a Traverse City wine glass or a corkscrew. Home to not one, but two peninsulas (Leelanau and Old Mission) that are both designated as American Viticultural Areas (AVA), this city provides an exquisite backdrop for tasting internationally acclaimed varietals like Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Plus, it’s a great time of year to see orchards blooming.
Embark on a Wine Coast Weekend
If you’re going to head to T.C., why not travel to one of the relaxation capitals of the state, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa? In fact, aim for its Wine Coast Weekend May 6-8. The special package includes a two night stay, a wine and cheese welcome reception, and a Traverse Wine Coast Dinner, featuring special food pairings with 15 Northern Michigan wineries. The dinner, on May 7, includes eight dine around stations, six drink tokens for local wineries and live music by Cam Six. Tickets for just the dinner may be purchased for $85 per person.
Soak in the Bubble Bash with Verterra Winery
Metro Detroiters who aren’t planning a visit to a wine trail can join the fun at Michigan By the Bottle. On May 7, they will be bubbling with excitement over the newly released sparkling wines from Verterra Winery. Those include the 2021 Chaos Sparkler, 2021 Sparkling Pinot Blanc, 2021 Joy Sparkling Rosé, and 2021 Brut Sparkling Rosé. During this special event, you can purchase a tasting flight of three of the featured wines for just $15 and get a complimentary 2-oz. pour of the fourth. Plus, you’ll receive a $5 bottle credit toward a Verterra bubbly to take home. Winery owner Paul Hamelin will be on site to chat with guests and answer questions about the wines 12pm-1:30pm at the Shelby location (45645 Hayes) and then 2:30pm-4pm in Royal Oak (29932 Woodward). You can drop by either location between 12pm-4pm on May 7 to sip and savor these new releases.
Sip and Supper at a Winemakers Dinner
Over on the southwestern side of the state, May 7 marks an evening of elegance at Fenn Valley. This unforgettable affair starts with a sparkling wine and cheese reception followed by a coursed dinner with wine pairings. Each course contains a Fenn Valley wine specifically paired by the chef and winemaker. The winemaker and other Fenn Valley staff will be available to talk about the wine and theory behind the pairings. Wines slated to make appearances at this event include True Chardonnay 2021, Muscat Ottonel 2021, Merlot Estate Reserve 2020, Cabaret Rosé 2021, Meritage 2020, and Traminette 2021. Tickets are $110 per person.
Try Some Rosé Along the Bay
It’s Rosé All May along the Leelanau Peninsula. Throughout Michigan Wine Month you are encouraged to get to know more about local Rosés available from multiple wineries. A $35 ticket gets you a 3-oz pour of a select Rosé from each of over 20 wineries along the peninsula, along with a signature glass souvenir. There are also few better places to glimpse the scenic splendor of our wine country than along this route.
Try Your Luck at a Casino Wine Tasting
Odawa Casino is playing host to a Petoskey Uncorked event on May 21. It’s an opportunity to sample wines from fourteen different local wineries. Tickets are $40 per person in advance and $50 per person at the door. Your ticket includes fourteen 1-oz tastings, appetizers, and live entertainment. The event runs from 12pm-4pm, and you can try your like in the casino afterward. If you prefer to explore each of the wineries in the Petoskey Wine Region instead, then consider buying a Wine Passport for $30. It will give you a $5 discount off a wine tasting at each of the fourteen Petoskey Wine Region Partners. That can save you $70 in tasting fees. The passports don’t expire, so you can spread your tastings out and enjoy several visits to the area.
Join the Vintage Michigan Wine Club
If you love wine and aren’t part of this club yet, wait no longer. Vintage Michigan is the only wine club that lets you explore the full range and variety of Michigan wines with just a single membership. It offers discounts at more than 60 wineries as well as selected retailers and restaurants across the state. You can also get discounts on lodging and ticketed wines events, a subscription to Michigan Wine Country magazine, and a complimentary Michigan Wines corkscrew. It’s easy to join for just $25 and start saving right away.
Buy Some Bottles and Invite Some Friends
Visiting a Michigan winery is an excellent way to learn about and taste local wines, but you don’t need an expert on hand to decide what you like. Go to a local market, buy some Michigan wines, invite some friends, and do a tasting of your own.
Cheers to Michigan Wine Month!