This weekend I spent a day visiting four wineries in Southwest Michigan. A bunch of girlfriends and I bought tickets through Canonball Productions for a round-trip winery tour, with pick-up and drop-off downtown Chicago which was super convenient! It was a great change of pace, as most winter days revolve around Netflix and local bars.
Four Wineries, Twenty Tastings
The tour started with a seemingly short bus ride to our first stop, Lemon Creek Winery. Right before we got there our guide, Tristan, gave us a little background information and then we were good to go! Inside there were a few different tasting areas, and we set up shop at the end of a long bar. I tried a few dry whites, a red, and finally the Peach Spumante. Though delicious and bubbly, it was too sweet for my palate but a few sips were perfect. I actually ended up purchasing a bottle of their Pinot Grigio which had some nice apple and citrus notes without too much sweetness.
The next winery included our lunch, but first we received a tour of the actual winery. Our guide walked us through and explained the different steps involved with wine making, but the highlight was tasting one of their wines before and after it was blended. The taste changed so much! It wasn’t sweet at all, and kind of resembled that of an ale. After mixing it become much sweeter and tasted more traditionally like a somewhat sweet white. The lunch was a standard buffet, not amazing but surprisingly filling (very necessary given all the drinking involved). I enjoyed learning about the process of wine making, however didn’t think the wine itself was too special.
For our last stop the bus parked outside of St. Julian’s Winery and Round Bar. St. Julian’s was pretty busy, and the staff was very helpful in picking out and recommending tastings. They also have ciders to try, which were a bit sweet but tasted natural and refreshing. I will say the cinnamon cider was a little to similar to Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey for my liking! Yikes! Round Bar is one of the more well known wineries in the area and also has beer and spirits. You’re given tokens that you trade in for tastings, as well as a wine glass to take home as a souvenir. I especially liked their reds and bought one of their table wines.
All in all the day was exhausting but a definite success. We returned to the city around 5 PM, a bit buzzed and very hungry. It was nice getting out of the house and exploring the Midwest on a Saturday, plus not having to deal with the driving and planning made it super convenient. At $79 (usually $150) it’s not cheap, but considering how little you need to do the discounted price is worth it. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the day grab some friends (and snacks!) and head to Michigan. Cheers!