Tired of the same old date night – or day? Ditch dinner and a movie and head to a local winery. There’s no need to venture to Traverse City for fantastic wine. Instead, stop by the different wineries in and around Macomb County that make up the Thumbs Up Wine Trail to sample red wine, white wine, hard cider and more.
The wine trail, which is dedicated to raising awareness of all the local wine offerings and bring tourists to Michigan’s “Thumb Region,” features 12 family-owned, small wineries that offer different varieties of wine and special experiences for guests.
“A lot of people are intimidated to go into wineries. All of our wineries are wine snob-free zones,” Pat Mulrenin, the owner of Fieldstone Winery located in Rochester, which is one of the wineries that is part of the Wine Up Trail Organization. “We are looking for the casual wine drinkers who want to learn more about our wines.”
That doesn’t mean connoisseurs aren’t welcome, of course, but these wineries are more relaxed for those who aren’t wine experts but are looking to learn, try new wines and have fun.
The trail’s beginning
While Mulrenin says he and other local winery owners had discussed the possibility of coming together for a wine trail for years, the idea didn’t come to fruition until Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel began his initiative to bring more tourists to Macomb County.
“We got a bunch of wineries together,” Mulrenin says, “At the time, there were five wineries in Macomb County, so we expanded more into the thumb area.”
Today, the trail – which was officially established in October 2013 – has gained popularity not only among people in Macomb County, but all over Michigan, as well. “You see people come in every weekend with maps of their wine trail,” Mulrenin says.
It’s a fun way to experience the wine in the area, but also a nice outing for couples and friends or even special events.
Fieldstone’s visitors can do a wine tasting at the tasting bar, enjoy cheese platters and charcuterie boards, among other things, Mulrenin says.
“We do get a lot of date nights,” he adds.
When it comes to events, each winery hosts their own, but they also participate in annual events hosted by the Thumbs Up Wine Trail Organization. Guests are welcome to visit each winery at varying hours throughout the year. Mulrenin suggests reaching out to your winery – or wineries – of choice to find out their hours of operation before heading out on your wine trail tour.
Participating wineries are as follows:
- 3 North Vines Vineyard & Winery
- Sage Creek Winery
- Green Barn Winery
- Blue Water Winery & Vineyards
- Dizzy Daisy Winery
- Blake’s Ciderhouse & Winery
- Village Winery
- Washington Street Wine House
- Westview Orchards Winery
- Fieldstone Winery
- Filipo Marc Winery
- Superior Lakes Hand Crafted Mead & Wine
Ultimately, the winery owners and employees are looking to give visitors a fun experience – whether it’s date night, a girls-only day out or anything else that might bring patrons in.
“It’s very customer-oriented, they want you to have a good experience,” he says.
For more information on the Thumbs Up Wine Trail, visit the Thumbs Up Wine trail website.