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Strange as it may seem, winter is a wonderful time to go touring in Traverse City's wine country -- because winter is when you can see why this region is such a productive wine-growing area.
Traverse City’s vineyards are spread along the steep slopes of the Leelanau Peninsula and the narrower Old Mission Peninsula. Renowned for their natural beauty, they’re able to take full advantage of Lake Michigan’s moderating influence. Those cool, deep lake waters serve as a kind of year-round “grape guardian,” moderating winter freezes and keeping the vines cool in spring until the danger of late frosts has passed.
It's important to check ahead, because some wineries have limited winter hours -- but most are well-equipped to serve visiting wine enthusiasts all year round. You can design your own tour or sign up for one of several winter tasting events. On the Leelanau Peninsula there's Toast the Season, Sips & Soups and Taste the Passion, while the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula have the Winter Warm-Up and Romancing the Riesling. It's easy to pick a wine trail event that fits your schedule!