When the topic of wine tasting in northern Michigan comes up, most people think fondly of cruising along the lake on a sunny summer day with the windows down and sipping wine on a patio overlooking the bay. It’s true, Old Mission Peninsula comes alive in the summer, but as residents of the peninsula, we know that every season is magical here, especially the quiet, peaceful atmosphere that comes with winter on Old Mission Peninsula.
If you’re a local or an intrepid visitor coming to the area during the winter months, spending a snowy day on Old Mission is one of the best ways to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and discover what this region is all about.
Here are some suggestions for a winter visit to the peninsula – a perfect balance of outdoor activities, good food and plenty of Michigan wine!
Pelizzari Natural Area
Pelizzari Natural Area is conveniently located just a few miles up the peninsula, making it the perfect first stop for a day on Old Mission! With about three miles of trails winding through a landscape offering a glimpse into what the peninsula looked like before development. Stop for a walk or snowshoe through beautiful fields, old orchards and a grove of giant hemlock trees.
A Warm Meal
A hearty meal is an important part of any winter day on the peninsula – warming you up after spending time outside and keeping you fueled for a full day of adventures! Stop in one of Old Mission’s many restaurants along your way. There are options to fit every budget and satisfy every taste.
Mission Point Lighthouse Park
The tip of Old Mission Peninsula is home to one of Old Mission’s most notable landmarks – the Mission Point Lighthouse and surrounding park. While the interior of the lighthouse is closed during the winter months, this special place is still worth the visit! Take in the beautiful exterior of the lighthouse, walk the trails through the woods and feel the power of Lake Michigan in the winter as you stand along the water at the end of the peninsula.
Of course there has to be wine! Every trip out the peninsula is made complete with a few stops to taste wine along the way. We recommend ducking into a winery between activities to warm up, sample some new wines and connect with fellow Old Mission adventurers. Even better? The tasting rooms are much less busy in the winter, making for an extra relaxing experience!
The Chateau Grand Traverse tasting room is open seven days a week in the winter and offers winery tours on weekends in the winter months.