Sometimes things go strangely right, when you think they may go all wrong. Which was the case for our anniversary trip to Boyne Falls, Michigan. Eric and I were so excited to explore Northern Michigan wineries, shops and restaurants during our two day trip to Boyne Falls. But wouldnt you know it, Mother Nature decided to test our adventurous spirit with a winter storm. Not only were there storm warnings in our area, there were storm warnings up north as well. So the choice had to be made, should we skip the trip or brave the weather. Well… it was our anniversary, we both had the next 2 days off from work and we had family watching our son for free. Northern Michigan beckoned us with a full day without stress or children. Oh, Yes! A no brainer! Off we went! We both love a good adventure anyway.
After digging ourselves out of our resort the next day – we did some local shopping and decided to visit Mackinaw Trail Winery. We actually expected it to be closed due to the weather. To our surprise, the long winding driveway leading to the winery was freshly plowed. We walked in and were pleasantly surprised by the huge room. The wine tasting bar was prominently featured at the far end, flanked by standard souvenirs and gifts that generally grace a winery. One look at this spacious room and you know they have great parties.
Mackinaw Trail Winery charges $5.00 for a wine tasting. For that, you get a souvenir wine glass and your choice of 5 wines. Due to the storm, we literally had the whole place to ourselves. Fabiola our server, who happened to be the Activities Director, was a joy to visit with. We discussed the different wine varieties from the lovely Cabernet Franc to a very impressive Syrah. Mackinaw Trail Winery wines were much better than I had initially anticipated. I was expecting mostly fruit wines, but this was not the case at all. The Chardonnay was crisp and aromatic, the Syrah was lush with vanilla, plum and coffee which made me dream of steak.
Then there was the North Shore Red – the winery’s port. It was interesting to discover this port was aged in bourbon barrels, which adds something very special to the flavor profile.
Remember when I said that sometimes things go strangely right? Due to the snow storm, we had the place to ourselves. Fabiola happily introduced us to the Vintner Dustin who gave us a tour of the facility and showed us the bottling process. He patiently explained what cold stabilization is, which is a method used to keep tartaric acid crystals from forming after the wine has been bottled. Lastly he showed us the bourbon barrels where the intensely rich port is aged. I have got to say, Dustin really knows wine and takes great pride in his work.
We were delighted that Dustin allowed us to take pictures of the bourbon barrels holding the port. North Shore Red is very reasonably priced at $24.00. Small on price ~ big on quality. The winery website describes North Shore Red as “Rich red wine port ~ with exquisite oak cherry flavors” Yeah, that about sums it up. We should have taken more than one home.
After the tour, we had the wonderful experience to visit with the owner and hear of future plans for the winery. Mackinaw Trail Winery has an amazing personality and I truly look forward to future visits whenever we are in the area. Thank you Mackinaw Trail Winery for a fabulous day on our Anniversary! Your hospitality was amazing!
Mackinaw Trail Winery
3423 US Hwy 131
Petoskey, MI 49770