Sunday, October 24, 2010
Fall in Love with Michigan
Recently I had the good fortune of heading up north to the Traverse City area with a bunch of mmy Jaycee friends for a weekend of wine tasting. The weather was lovely with brisk mornings and (mostly) sunny afternoons. I've been traveling to the Traverse City area for 20 years now and it always feels like home to me. There's so much to see, do and enjoy!
We spent most of our wine-tasting weekend touring the wineries of Old Mission Peninsula. We went to 2 Lads which is situated at the far Northern end of the peninsula. They have a strikingly modern building with amazing views of the surrounding landscape. Unfortunately the place was mobbed with people so we did not stay long.
We also visited Bowers Harbor Vineyard, which is one of my absolute favorites. Below, is a shot looking down their bowery. Their wines are sublime and the scenery is fantastic. Being there gives you such a sense of peace and serenity.
Chateau Chantal has been near and dear to my heart for many many years. I discovered it one year on a trip up north with my Mom. We decided we'd found heaven! I think we must have come home with at least 2 cases, much of which was their sparkling wine Carpe Diem, which is now called Celebrate. The Chateau is owned by Bob and Nadine Begin, who are two of the nicest and most interesting people you could ever meet. It sits on high ground with a commanding view of both East and West Bay. Their Bed & Breakfast is top notch. My husband I stayed there one year between Christmas and New Year's. The snow was deep and white. Everything looked pristine and fresh. I'll never forget the sight of Bob Begin using his big truck with the plow on the front to clear their long, narrow and very curvy driveway.
A short drive to the south is Chatea Grand Traverse, another bastion of the Traverse City area wine scene. They have many award winning wines, one of my favorites being their Late Harvest Rieslings. A glass of that, along with some fruit and cheeses is truly a slice of heaven.
In terms of restaurants, the Traverse City is a veritable treasure trove of wonderful eateries, many of them committed to sustainable and eco-friendly practices. For breakfast, I strongly recommend the The Omlette Shoppe. They have many choices of healthy and not-so-healthy options and if you're really looking to indulge, their cinnamon rolls are divine! For dinner we went to the Jolly Pumpkin, which is also out on Old Mission Peninsula. The beers are amazing and the food definitely delivers. Personally, I am in love with their Goat Cheese Pizza with basil pesto, olive oil and roma tomatoes. I have dreams about that pizza!
So if you're looking to experience the sights, sounds and smells of Fall I'd strongly recommend the Traverse City area. You could go there a dozen times and still find new places to explore.
I apologize if I sound like a puremichigan.org commercial but it can't be helped. I have, and always will have a love affair with the Traverse City area and all it has to offer.