Wine Country

There is no argument that France and California produce world class wines, but you can find amazingly great wines right in your own backyard. A couple of our communities, including Lake Chapin Shores, is located in the American Vitacultural Area (AVA) of Southwest Michigan, which boasts a dozen wineries with 10,000 acres of  vineyards among its rolling hills and inland rivers and lakes.

Almost all of the local wineries offer tastings and tours. Some even have "u-pick" fruits and berries. You can find them all on the official Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail map.  If you look closely, you may even be able to point to the location of your future lakefront home in Southwest Michigan on the map to your friends.

One of our favorites, and not just because it's one of the closest, is The Round Barn Winery Baroda (800-716-WINE). We love its great people, relaxed atmosphere, and particularly its iconic round barn. All of the grounds, walkways and ample parking areas have been recently upgraded and they've added more outdoor seating overlooking the vineyards. They even have sets of "bags", the popular bag-tossing game, to enjoy while you sip some of their wines, hand-crafted beers or their popular Divine vodka out on the grass next to the beer tasting room.

Come and enjoy all this while some of the best music (as rated by us 'boomers' and younger generation alike) plays in the background. If you have time for just one stop to a winery, make this the one!

Some other great local wineries include:

Lemon Creek Winery & Fruit Farm, Berrien Springs, 269-471-1321

Contessa Wine Cellar, Coloma, 269-468-5534

Domaine Berrien Cellars & Winery, Berrien Springs, 269-473-WINE

Fenn Valley Vineyard & Wine Cellar, Fennville, 800-432-6265

Founders Wine Cellar, Baroda, 269-426-5222

Free Run Cellars, Union Pier, 269-469-9443

Hickory Creek Winery, Buchanan 269-422-1100

Karma Vista Vineyards & Winery, Coloma 269-468-WINE

St. Julian Winery, Paw Paw, 800-732-6002

Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant, Buchanan, 800-283-3363

Warner Vineyards Winery, Paw Paw, 800-756-5357
 


Winery Tours:  For a really fun time with a small or large group, consider taking one of the  Fruitful Vine Tours (269-978-8777) for fun, expertly guided tours of wine country. Fruitful Vine is the first and only official winery tour operator in Southwest Michigan. They have "Hop On" tours or rent an entire deluxe 14 passenger Limo-Coach with room to stand and party with your own group. Leave the driving to them and the fun times to yourselves!