Two new wineries have opened in Michigan and one is scheduled to open later this year in Tennessee, giving wine lovers new options as they hit the road during the summer and holiday travel seasons.
Circa Estate Winery, owned by Margaret and David Bell, has opened on 50 acres on Northwest Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. The couple has been growing grapes there for 17 years, and now has 24 acres of vinifera and hybrid vines.
The production area is roofed with sod to maintain the temperature and funnel heat to the tasting room’s geothermal heating system.
Lake Effect Winery has opened in Fruitport Township along the West Michigan shoreline.
The winery produces less than 1,000 cases of fruit wines per year, but has distribution in nearly 100 Michigan stores and restaurants.
Historic Belle Meade Plantation, six miles west of Nashville, Tenn., plans to open a winery and begin selling its first bottles during the 2009 Christmas season.
The 200-year-old, 30-acre plantation was once one of the largest in the state, with 5,400 acres. The winery operation will use Tennessee grapes when possible, and sell wines at $15 to $20 per bottle.