The Hunt for the Reds of October Expands to the Entire Month of October and Adds Fun “Secret Missions” for Participants

Leelanau Peninsula is known for its Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and other cool-climate white varietals and blends. What are often overlooked, however, are the high-quality red wines being grown in the region. To help get beneath the surface, the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail hosts a fun event to explore and discover great red wines of Leelanau Peninsula.

“Wine enthusiasts who haven’t tried the reds in a while may be quite surprised,” shares Lorri Hathaway, director of the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. “Red wines of the region are garnering more and more awards with each passing vintage.”

The Hunt for the Reds of October, formerly a weekend-only event, takes place on weekdays for the month of October along the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail. For the entire month, 23 participating wineries are offering a free taste of a featured red wine including big and bold Cabernet Francs and Merlots, aromatic and spicy Pinot Noirs and many more.

For added fun, two “Secret Missions” have been added to the event:

  1. Taste all featured reds in October for a chance to win prizes.
  2. Find the American Red Cross representative at a secret winery location each Wednesday for a free gift

Tickets to the event are $10 per person and includes 23 red wine tastes, a souvenir wine glass and a $5 donation to the American Red Cross. In addition, several wineries are donating a portion of their sales to the cause. Out-of-towners can take advantage of lodging packages that include tickets to the event. Tickets, lodging packages and more detail is available at

  • Aurora Cellars, Lake Leelanau: Rosso
  • Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery, Cedar: Bel Lago Red
  • Black Star Farms, Suttons Bay: 2012 Vintners Select
  • Blustone Vineyards, Lake Leelanau: Ad-Lib
  • Boathouse Vineyards, Lake Leelanau: Merlot
  • Boskydel Vineyards, Lake Leelanau: no tasting fees on all reds
  • Brengman Brothers at Crain Hill, Traverse City: Runaway Hen Red
  • Chateau de Leelanau, Suttons Bay: Pinot Noir
  • Chateau Fontaine, Lake Leelanau: Big Paw Red
  • Ciccone Vineyard, Suttons Bay: 2014 Vortex Red, a Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc blend
  • Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery, Lake Leelanau: 45 Red
  • French Valley Vineyards, Suttons Bay: 2011 Pinot Noir
  • Good Harbor Vineyards, Lake Leelanau: select any red
  • Green Bird Organic Cellars, Northport: Blaufränkisch
  • Leelanau Wine Cellars, Omena: Sleeping Bear Red
  • L. Mawby, Suttons Bay: Rosso
  • Laurentide, Lake Leelanau: 2015 Pinot Noir
  • Longview Winery, Cedar: no tasting fees on all reds
  • Rove Estate, Traverse City: 2014 Cabernet Franc/Merlot
  • Shady Lane Cellars, Suttons Bay: 2013 Franc n Franc
  • Silver Leaf Vineyard & Winery, Suttons Bay: 2014 Pinot Noir
  • Verterra Winery, Leland: Merlot
  • Willow Vineyard, Suttons Bay: Pinot Noir

Funds are being raised to support critical services to those experiencing emergencies. The Northwest Michigan Chapter coordinates volunteers for both local and national disaster responses, provides vital services to the Armed Forces, teaches lifesaving health and safety skills as well as collecting essential blood from local donors throughout Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.

In addition to raising awareness of the local services of the Red Cross, the Leelanau vintners are hoping that wine enthusiasts will discover high quality red wines produced in the region.