Nov 12, 2009

A whirlwind trip "Up North" in Northern Michigan

Some of my favorite trips are to Northwest Michigan’s vibrant wine region. Flanked by Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bays, the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are thriving as a culinary destination. Quaint wineries produce world-class wines, including the top Cabernet Francs in the state from Brys Estate and 2Lads Winery. Personally, I am drawn to the Rieslings from Left Foot Charley and Bel Lago – yet, I’m also prone to order a glass of Pinot Grigio from Bowers Harbor Vineyards. When my schedule permits an extended stay, the B&B's at Black Star Farms and Chateau Chantal provide romantic settings and mouth-watering gourmet breakfasts.

A trip to the Traverse City area is not complete without a stroll through The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Once the Northern Michigan Asylum, this historic complex has found new life at the hands of the Minervini Group who have taken on the role of restoring the massive brick buildings and turning them into a true community. Here, you’ll find two wineries, a deli, bakery, cheesecake shop, two coffee shops, a gelato shop, florist, salon and one of the finest Italian eateries in the state –Trattoria Stella. The upper floors of “Building 50” – the largest in the complex at ¼-mile in length – boasts modern condos that could easily grace the pages of Architectural Digest.

Culinary travelers should check out the Self Guided Foodie Tour information on the TC Visitor Bureau website
 for suggestions on the region’s tastiest stops. Truffles from the Grocer’s Daughter in Empire, jams and sauces from Food for Thought in Honor, baked goodies from Stonehouse Bread in Leland, fruity snacks from Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor, teas from Light of Day Organics and brews from Right Brain Brewery are just a sampling of the full menu of culinary delights found in this part of Michigan. It goes without saying, your palate will be pleased following this get-away!

Cheers…and…Bon Appetit!

About the author:

Dianna Stampfler is the principal for Promote Michigan, a marketing consultant firm specializing in everything food, wine and other travel related companies in Michigan. She is very committed to promoting Michigan as a year round destination. 

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