As springtime slowly but surely arrives in Northern Michigan, excitement mounts for warmer days and bluer skies. Long days on the beach, cherry-stained fingertips and fresh, local produce galore are just around the bend. As spring comes to life, so too does the area’s expanse of cherry orchards – blooming into a magical show for everyone lucky enough to catch those short days of blossom beauty.
The Traverse Bay region of Northern Michigan produces three-quarters of the tart cherries in the US. When springtime rolls around, few of us realize just how lucky we are witness the cherry bloom on such a grand scale. Many of these orchards are located on Old Mission Peninsula, beautifully surrounding our winery.
This spring, why not take a trip up the peninsula, enjoy the cherry blossoms and sip new wine releases along the way? Cherry blossom season comes and goes quickly, so don’t put off this fun and relaxing afternoon! Check out a few ideas on how to make the most of the bloom:
1) Hop in the car and head north on M37 from the base of the peninsula. After you pass Chateau Grand Traverse, we recommend taking a more indirect route north to explore the scenic country roads. Continue past Blue Water Road on your right and bear left onto Seven Hills Road (Peninsula Drive). From here you’ll whisk past cherry orchards in peak bloom. Short diversions off this road will take you down small county roads that you can string together for a less direct, but more relaxing route north. Take your time, enjoy the scenery, and don’t forget to take some photos in front of the blossoms!
2) Once you reach the very end of the peninsula, you’ll be greeted by the historic Mission Point Lighthouse. Enjoy the beautiful coastline, meander the free museum, or climb to the top of the lighthouse for a small fee. The park also has a trail system through the woods for a fun afternoon hike. Just ask a light house attendant for a trail map!
3) When you’re ready to move on, be sure to stop by the Old Mission General Store. Head south on Mission Road off of Swaney Road. You’ll feel like you stepped right back in time as you walk across creaking wooden floors, where pickles bob in a barrel, candy fills jars and the shelves are lined with antiques and old-timey wares. Grab some snacks and, if time allows, bring them just up the road to Haserot Beach, a well-protected cove on the east side of the Peninsula. For a slower, scenic route back, take Smokey Hollow Road, which will put you right back out on M37.
4) Make a day of it! Join us on Saturday, May 13 for the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula’s annual Blossom Day event. This wine trail event features spring wine releases and food pairings at each winery along the trail. At CGT, we’ll be featuring our newly released Gamay Noir as well as sampling unfinished wines directly from the barrel! This event is a perfect opportunity to take your time and enjoy the blossoms as you travel from winery to winery.
However you decide to enjoy the blossoms, don’t forget to stop in and in to indulge in a glass of wine on our back patio, perfectly situated for watching the sun set over the countryside you spent the afternoon exploring. While you’re sipping some wine, share your cherry blossom photos on Facebook or Instagram and tag @cgtwines on Facebook and Instagram!