Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail Celebrates 15 Years

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail is celebrating 15 years serving the wineries that produce quality wine from southwest Michigan. Established in 2002, a small group of winery owners and wine makers collaborated to promote the wine, wineries and tourism industry in general and specifically the wines and wineries of this region.

Today, Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail has grown to 21 distinct award winning wineries to provide the best tasting experience for all who visit here.

You’ve read, I’m sure, about the positive benefits that the Lake Effect has on not only the vineyards, but all crops along the shores of the Great Lakes. The winter season allows water to maintain colder temperatures long in to the spring, protecting the plants from late frosts. The warm water temperatures linger in the the fall, so the grapes benefit from an extended ripening and harvesting period. The combination of the surrounding Great Lakes, the beautiful rolling hills, and sand dunes along with the lake-effect snows protect the vines during the cold winter months. The 21 wineries that comprise the wine trail are not well known for their location. Many of the wineries in southwest Michigan and specifically those of the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation have been recognized by the experts and wine lovers from all over the globe. All wines produced by the member wineries are only from grapes grown in this region. Thus, you taste all the components that are unique to this area. Michigan wines, overall, are receiving increased national attention for their quality, and wines from southwest Michigan are among the best the State has to offer.

The wine trail’s location here in southwest Michigan makes for an easy day trip. Visit the different wineries at your leisure. It’ll be a great time to explore and find your favorite wine, winery, winemaker, beach and beach town. 

You can spend a day visiting wineries and tasting rooms and be back home in time to let the dog out. Spend a weekend and add time to visit the many quaint, unique, and fun filled beach towns along the shoreline. Bridgman, Union Pier, St Joseph, Coloma, Paw Paw, Mattawan, South Haven, and Saugatuck/Douglas to name a few. If you have spent your summers here in southwest Michigan, you may already know about the amazing wine that is produced right here.

If you’re not familiar with the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, it is a secret that needs to be discovered.

You don’t have to wait until summer. You can visit many of the wineries year round. All wineries are a reasonable distance from many of the towns and cities here in Michigan as well as Chicago, northern Indiana and Ohio. You can return frequently as you navigate and experience the 21 wineries and 9 satellite tasting rooms that make up the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail.

If you have more time to spend here in southwest Michigan, then stay for some spectacular sunsets on this side of the lake. Wine tasting, inviting tasting rooms, winery tours, flights, pairings, acres and acres of vineyards and beaches, and exceptionally friendly ambassadors will make your wine tasting experience one to remember.

How many times have you driven I-94 and I-196 and not even realize you could visit so many wineries in a short span of time? How many times have you looked at the billboards and thought “we’ll have to do that sometime.” Well, now is a good time. The wineries are open and waiting for you to visit, taste and and take some home. 

Learn about the wines of the region, all made from the grapes grown right here. Talk to the ambassadors and the winemakers at each of the wineries and attend the many events offered by each of the wineries throughout the year.

For a map and information on each winery, visit

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the development of the outstanding wine producing and tourism industry in southwest Michigan. Its mission is to stimulate interest in wine in general and specifically the wines of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, and to assist local wineries in becoming industry leaders.