With a similar climate to parts of France and Germany, my original perception of Michigan wines years ago was that they were very sweet and not my favorites. Since then, the number of wineries has grown tremendously and they have started producing many more drier wines. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality! Make sure to visit:
Free Run Cellars, 10062 Burgoyne Rd. in Berrien Springs: This winery produces a variety of whites and reds plus an apple brandy, a cognac style brandy, a cherry wine and a grappa. I tried the Pinot Meunier or French rose; the Cabernet Franc; the Union blend of Merlot, Cab Franc and Chambourcin and the Syrah. My favorites were the Cab Franc and the Syrah which were the driest and smoothest. They do have a Zinfandel but were out.
Gravity at 10220 Lauer Rd in Baroda MI: Gravity had some of my favorite wines that I tasted on my recent tour. I tasted four wines. The white was paired with cheese and the reds with chocolates. The flight included a Pinot Gris, a Merlot, a Shiraz and a Cab Franc. My favorite was the Cab Franc. The tasting room was attractive and it had a lovely outdoor space overlooking the property and nearby pond. Perfect on a beautiful Fall day with changing leaves! They offer six dry whites and reds, six semi-sweet whites and reds and six sweeter whites and reds.
Hickory Creek Winery, at 750 Browntown Rd in Buchanan MI: I enjoyed tasting their Melange which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and the Cab Franc. The Cab Franc was my favorite.
Lemon Creek Winery, at 533 E. Lemon Creek Rd. Berrien Springs: This Winery has a farm stand where you can buy their red raspberries, peaches, plums nectarines, blueberries, cherries, apricots, grapes and apples. You can also pick your own peaches, grapes and apples in season which can be a fun family outing.
The tasting room offers tastings of their dry whites, sweet white, dry red, dry rose, semi-dry reds, semi-sweet reds, cherry wine and ice wine. I liked the Meritage blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and their Cab Franc.
Round Barn Winery, Distillery and Brewery, 10983 Hills Rd.Baroda MI: This popular winery and tasting room can be very busy on weekends. There is food available at the Round Barn Grille along with entertainment on weekends. Here you can taste their sparkling whites, dry whites, semi-dry whites, fruit wines, dry reds, semi-dry reds and dessert wines. You can tour Divine Spirits on the property which is a distillery that makes a bourbon, a silver rum, a hand-crafted vodka and their Black Walnut Creme which is their version of an Irish Cream.
Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant, 185 Mt. Tabor Rd in Buchanan MI: This was one of the first wineries in the area. You can taste one of their sparkling wines, dessert cherry wine, dry reds, dry whites or semi-sweet whites and reds plus tour the winery. One of the highlights is the attractive restaurant, open for lunch and dinner, that features seasonal ingredients and overlooks the vineyards with both indoor and outdoor seating. You can also buy their line of artisanal chocolates.
Baroda Founders Wine Cellar: Located in downtown Baroda, they offer tastings of their red and white wine offerings. 8963 Hills Rd.
I didn’t stop, but Domaine Berrien Cellars, is known for its Syrah and Rhone varietals such as Viognier, Marsanne and Rousanne. It is located at E. 398 Lemon Creek in Berrien MI near Lemon Creek Winery.