The Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail is booming with fun experiences this spring with some engaging events and an idea to explore wine tasting in a whole new way.
So often, you hear people refer to the Leelanau Peninsula, or Northern Michigan, as “the next Napa Valley.” A major compliment, yes, though, Leelanau winemakers are not necessarily striving to be Napa Valley -- they are the Leelanau Peninsula! As soon as you walk into a tasting room during a trail event, you’ll feel comfortable whether you know nothing about wines, are a wine enthusiast or are an expert in the industry.
First up is Sips, Chips & Dips, a casual tasting experience that challenges Leelanau winemakers to pair their wines with everyday snacks. Tasters enjoy sampling the creations, only to find that local wines go with almost anything. And, this event is a great example of how fun the Leelanau wine industry can be. This free event takes place on Saturday, March 19, from 12-5 pm.
Up next is Spring Sip & Savor, celebrating the blossoming of the grapevines and, well, just about everything else. During the weekend of April 30 to May 1, take a self-guided tour along the trail and indulge on delicious wines paired with bites of fresh, local fare.
And be sure to plan your outfit ahead of time as this weekend is all about the hats! Tasters wear a myriad of hat styles for a chance to win great prizes in the Sip o’ de Mayo Hat Contest. Each winery offers a hat contest and prize under a predetermined category and a grand prize for the best hat. The prize includes complimentary tickets for next year’s event and overnight accommodations.
If the hustle and bustle of the tasting rooms is not your thing, try your own tour on a quieter weekend. And, as it’s impossible to taste all of the wines, narrow down your tour to a particular varietal or style. For example, taste only Pinot Noir or Riesling, or just dry white wines or earthy reds. It will give you a great perspective of the wines grown on the Leelanau Peninsula and the down-to-earth, laid-back winemakers who produce them.