April is Michigan Wine Month, all official and declared by Governor Snyder and everything! And “Wine Not?” celebrate Michigan Wine? It’s an important — and growing — (not to mention FUN) — segment of the state’s economy. Here are a few facts not everyone knows:
- Michigan grape-growing regions are similar in climate and land characteristics to the best wine-producing regions of France and Germany.
- As of 2012 there were 92 commercial wineries in Michigan with the last 11 added just since 2011.
- Michigan is the 4th largest grape producing state in the country.
- Most of those grapes grow within 25 miles of Lake Michigan.
- And the largest of Michigan’s 4 major wine trails is the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail right here in southwest Michigan.
All of this bodes well for visitors to Kalamazoo and SW Michigan because it means you’re never far from a vineyard, a winery, or a tasting room. Here are some of the closest tasting rooms to the Kalamazoo House B&B:
Tempo Vino Winery:
Tempo Vino Winery, right nearby in downtown Kalamazoo, is a fun spot to taste a menu of 20 wines, including their “In the Mood Merlot”, “Alla Terra Barolo”, and “Alex’s Amore Amarone” and their popular “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo” house red and white wines, to name just a few. They feature seasonal wines too, like this Spring’s “Green Apple Riesling” and this past Winter’s especially yummy “Chocolate Raspberry Port.”
Especially fun is the chance to make your own wine at Tempo Vino. Bring a group of friends and schedule a private wine tasting & wine-making party. Alex will help you create your own batch of wine. Then come back in a few weeks for a bottling party. They’ll even help you design special labels.
Lawton Ridge Winery:
A short drive from the Kalamazoo House brings visitors to the production facility and the tasting room of Lawton Ridge Winery. All of the wine produced by Lawton Ridge comes from grapes grown either in their own vineyard or in neighboring vineyards in the Lake Michigan Shore AVA
Some of my Lawton Ridge favorites include the “AZO Red” and “AZO White” (AZO is the airport code for Kalamazoo). Besides being tasty wines, they sport beautiful labels featuring paintings of local artist Rick Herter. I also especially like their “Two-Handed Red”, Lawton Ridge’s award-winning “Sweetheart Red”, and their fabulous “Vidal Ice Wine”.
Cody Kresta Vineyard & Winery:
In an idyllic setting in the beautiful SW Michigan countryside near Mattawan, Marylou and David Butkovich are living the dream with 3-year-old Cody Kresta Vineyard & Winery. According to an MLive article when they opened to the public in June of 2010, they actually met in 1986 at a barndance on the property. After buying the place, they’ve spent years remodeling the 1882 homestead and barn, planting acres of vineyards, and making wines first as a hobby and now as a respected boutique winery.
Now Cody Kresta welcomes visitors in their lush Tuscan-inspired tasting room with a patio that overlooks the vineyards. Their wine is sold only in the tasting room, which is open every weekend and other days during the summer months. Taste all their wines, including their “Mystique Red” and their “Chambourcin”and their “Cabernet Franc”, which won 2013 Best of Category at the 6th Annual Lake Michigan Shore AVA Wine Evaluation. And don’t miss an opportunity to try their several late harvest whites and their ice wine!
The wineries of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country:
I could go on and on about the many wineries and tasting rooms within an easy afternoon of the Kalamazoo House, but for all the details you need, visit the website for the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail. You can visit 13 wineries and tasting rooms within an hour or two of Kalamazoo in the beautiful SW Michigan countryside:
For the entire state of Michigan Wines, get the magazine:
For a free copy of Wine Country – Wine & Touring Guide, a terrific annual guide published by the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, click the photo:
And the best part about staying at the Kalamazoo House during Michigan Wine Month– or anytime?
After an afternoon enjoying the wines and wineries of Southwest Michigan, you can park your car and refresh yourselves in the luxury of our beautiful B&B in downtown Kalamazoo.
Soak in a jetted tub or enjoy a rain-shower, and then venture out to restaurants and nightspots of this vibrant small city.
After a terrific night’s sleep on luxury linens, followed by Chef Terry’s delicious breakfast, you’re ready to find the rest of the tasting rooms you missed the day before!
“Wine Not” call me and reserve your room today?
Or book online at http://www.thekalamazoohouse.com. We’re looking forward to seeing you!