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Michigan WineriesFirst planted by settlers during the early pioneer days, grapes have grown to be a major industry within the state, and its award-winning wineries the envy of better known producers on either US coast.

The secret lies in the state's relative proximity to the Great Lakes - resulting in a longer growing period than in most of the US Midwest.

For years, Michigan was more famous for its Concord grapes and the voluminous production of grape juice, jellies and jams by the Welch Grape Juice Company. It was only following the repeal of Prohibition that wine production in Michigan truly took off.

Today, most vineyard acreage is still devoted to juice grapes,but about 1,500 acres are devoted to wine production making Michigan the eighth largest wine producer in the U.S.

Today, Michigan's wine industry has become a lure for travelers and aficionados to its wine tours and tasting rooms in four officially recognized Michigan AVAs (American Viticultural Areas). These include Lake Michigan Shore wineries, Fennville, the Leelanau Peninsula, and the Old Mission Peninsula.

Late summer grapes almost ready to harvest at a Mission Peninsual vineyard.

Along the shore, in particular, Traverse City is protected by harsh winters by its proximity to the lake and this upcoming region for quality wines has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last decade (photo above, the Chateau Chantal Winery in Traverse City.)

See for yourself in our Web guide to the Midwest wine country with more on its wine tours & tastings and related wine festivals and extravaganzas hosted throughout the year ..

More about Michigan winery tours and vineyards around the Web:

Southwestern Michigan Wineries - Highlights of the top wineries in the region with descriptions, contact details, and directions.

Wineries of Northern Michigan - Highlights and brief description of the wineries of the Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas, plus links to related wine sites and a historical overview.


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