(WJBK) - April has been declared Michigan Wine Month to honor our statewide selection of quality wine, and what better way to celebrate than with the wineries of Old Mission Peninsula.
Old Mission Peninsula located in Northwest Lower Michigan is 22 miles long and divides Grand Traverse Bay into East and West Bays. There are nine unique wineries on the peninsula.
"It's our soil; it's our location to the water," Justin Leshinsky tells us on The Nine. He's from Bowers Harbor Vineyard, one of the wineries on the peninsula.
"We have east and west bay of Lake Michigan, so in the springtime we have this nice, cool breeze telling the vines to stay dormant. And in the summer, or once fall comes around, we have this really nice warm breeze coming in to prolong our growing season up there."
He adds that Michigan is the fourth largest producer of grapes in the entire country. He says most of them are for table grapes for Concord, but our wines are undoubtedly becoming very well-known and have placed in many competitions.
For sample wines, whether it's at a vineyard or in your kitchen with friends, he says the most important thing is taking your time and enjoying it. He does, though, share with us an order of how you can get the most out of the glass you're sampling:
"Pour just a little bit, swirl it around, get it on your nose - breathe in that wonderful summertime feel to it - and sample just a little bit, and then that way there you can pair it, you can sample and you can enjoy," he says. "There's a process to it, but more importantly, taking your time and enjoying it."
For more information on the wineries of Old Mission Peninsula, including the upcoming events mentioned in the video, visit www.wineriesofoldmission.com.
(And, yes, Gov. Snyder did officially declare April as Michigan Wine Month in 2014. You can read more about that here.)