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Winter is the Best Time to Tour the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

by Kyra-EB on January 18, 2021

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail showcases the amazing wine-producing region of West Michigan, from the southwest corner in Benton Harbor up to Holland, where the annual Wine Festival is held. If you want to get out and explore, don’t wait until summer, winter is the best time to visit West Michigan’s wineries.

In the winter months, the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail will be less busy and you can enjoy the quiet of a West Michigan winter with a taste of summer in the glass. This winter, plan your trip to visit the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail and explore the flavors this impressive lineup of wineries has to offer. 

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail was founded in 2001 by a group of local wineries with the goal of shining a light on the great producers of the region and promoting stronger wine tourism in the area.

The shoreline of Lake Michigan provides the perfect temperate climate and rich soil to grow excellent-tasting wine grapes. Wineries along the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail harvest and process the grapes to produce consistently flavorful wines — commonly Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, but also unique Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Gewurztraminer wines.

Several Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail wineries are regularly recognized for their award-winning wines, including 12 Corners Vineyards, Cogdal Vineyards, and Lemon Creek Winery at the Finger Lakes Wine Competition. In 2020, Lemon Creek took a gold medal for its 2017 Cabernet Franc, as did 12 Corners Vineyards with a 2018 Vidal Icewine.

Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail Wineries

Currently, the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail has 15 total members. They are divided into four regions: north, central, east, and south. To plan your visit, pick a region to focus on, plan a route that ventures through all four to sample a winery from each, or choose your own adventure. Here are the participating wineries of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail:

North Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

The northernmost wineries are around the South Haven and Fennville area.

  • Cogdal Vineyards
  • Fenn Valley Vineyards

Central Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

The central part of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail includes wineries near Benton Harbor, Coloma, and St. Joseph.

  • 12 Corners Winery
  • Contessa Wine Cellars
  • Karma Vista Vineyards
  • White Pine Winery
  • Lake Michigan Vintners

East Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

The furthest-inland wineries experience unique growing conditions and so offer varied flavors in their wines. Wineries in the central part of the trail are near Paw Paw, Mattawan, and Kalamazoo.

  • Cody Kresta Vineyard and Winery
  • Lawton Ridge Winery
  • St. Julian Winery and Distillery

South Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail

The wineries furthest south on the trail, including the communities of Baroda, Buchanan and Berrien Springs.

  • Baroda Founders Wine Cellar
  • Chill Hill WInery
  • Domaine Berrien Cellars
  • Hickory Creek Winery
  • Lemon Creek Winery

Take your time visiting the wineries on this list during the winter* and enjoy fewer crowds in the peaceful winter wonderland that is the West Michigan lakeshore. Then, come back during the summer to revisit your favorites!

*With Covid 19 restrictions still in place across much of West Michigan, it’s recommended that you call ahead to book reservations for tastings to ensure you can get in and enjoy the full experience safely. Wineries are taking every precaution to keep employees and visitors safe while providing an exceptional experience.

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail is just one of the many great things we have to share about our favorite lakeshore communities. If you love exploring this area as much as we do, reach out to BlueWest Properties. We have beautiful listings available that will offer you a chance to call West Michigan home. For more information, give us a call or contact us online.

Kyra-EBWinter is the Best Time to Tour the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail