There’s nothing better than a weekend filled with apple-picking, cider donuts, and overall family fun at Michigan apple farms, orchards, and cider mills. We’d like to add one more reason to visit: the wine!
Fruit wines are not exactly new — Blake Farms opened their winery and tasting room in 2013 — but if you’re one of those folks who hasn’t yet jumped on the hay wagon, we highly recommend you give them a try at your next apple farm visit. It’s a perfect tonic after a day of corn mazes, bounce houses, and escape rooms.
Here are just a handful of local venues we recommend for a day of fun for everyone.
1. Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery, Grand Rapids (Kent County)
Enjoy free admission to the orchard for U-Pick cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and apples, depending on the season. From September through early November, the 6.5-acre corn maze is open for visitors, as well as the petting zoo, hayrides, nature trail, and jumping pillow.
The Wine: Robinette’s offers more than 20 Michigan-made wines and ciders crafted on-site for sample in the tasting room and for sale by bottle. Wine options include mulled wine, fruit wines such as cranberry, apple, and blueberry, as well as a few unique flavors such as strawberries and cream, chocolate mint, and cherry chocolate. The cider list varies by season and availability.
2. Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill, Charlotte (Eaton County)
Pick your own apples or opt to buy a bag in the farm market instead. The 213-acre farm — where more than half of the apple orchard is managed organically — also has blueberries, peaches, sunflowers, and pumpkins. Go for a relaxing wagon ride on your way to the bakery to get some sweet treats.
The Wine: Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill grows, presses, ferments, and bottles all of their own hard cider and fruit wines at the orchard. Take home a bottle of an apple mix of wine such as blueberry, cherry, dry, or maple syrup. Hard cider is available for purchase in three-packs of 16 oz. cans.
3. Westview Orchards and Winery, Washington (Macomb County)
U-Pick season begins in June with strawberries and ends Oct. 31 with pumpkins. Westview grows 15 types of fall apples in October. Farm fresh honey made from Westview’s 55 beehives is also available for sale. Check out the children’s play area, animal barn, outdoor petting area, giant slide, and more after.
The Wine: Westview winery offers a menu with seasonal hard cider on tap, as well as fruit wines such as apple or peach, Michigan grape wines, and premium dry wines such as Chardonnay, Grand Merlot, Muscati, and more. Wines are available by the glass at the bar or for purchase by the bottle at the farm market.
4. Royal Farms, Ellsworth (Antrim County)
Pick a bushel of apples or grab one at the farm market. Royal Farms has hayrides, a bakery and gift shop, and a 5-acre scavenger hunt corn maze. Make your way through the maze to search for each station. Visitors who find all six stations in 30 minutes or less win a prize.
The Wine: Enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the wine garden, on the patio, or in the tasting room sipping on wine or a hard cider flight. Choose from a selection of Royal Farms dry white, dry red, tart cherry, and sweet white wines. Bottled wine and hard ciders are also available for purchase.
5. Spicer Orchards, Fenton (Genesee County)
Pick your own Golden Delicious, Gala, or McIntosh apples and brave your way through the tractor trivia corn maze to some cider and donuts at the end. Complete with bounce houses, train rides, scenic hayrides, and a winery grille, Spicer’s has something for everyone.
The Wine: Choose a flight board, wine by the glass, or take home a bottle of wine or hard cider. Spicer’s offers an original selection of dry (Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.), semi-dry (Bubbling Rosé, Traminette, Sweet Riesling, etc.) and sweet wines (Moscato, Niagara, House Red, etc.). They also offer dry and sweet hard cider with flavors ranging from lemon ginger to raspberry.
6. Obstbaum Orchards, Northville/Salem (Washtenaw County)
Visit this smaller, less crowded, and more personal orchard and spend a fall weekend picking your own apples from a variety of trees or buy some at its store. Enjoy a picnic with family and friends, walk through the pumpkin patch, and finish with a dessert of caramel apples and donuts.
The Wine: Obstbaum estate wines are available for purchase by the bottle at its store. Try the two award-winning wines: a honey apple wine and a semi-dry cherry wine. They also have a hard cider made from a blend of the orchard’s apple varieties.
7. McCallum’s Orchard and Cider Mill, Grant Township (St. Clair County)
Pick your own apples, stop by the pumpkin patch, and then take the kids to run around on the free KidZone playscapes. McCallum’s also offers wagon rides, a petting farm, and haunted attractions, including a brand-new escape room. Cider and donuts made fresh every day are available from the pick-up window at McCallum’s Kitchen.
The Wine: McCallum’s offers a variety of their own fruit wines available for purchase by the bottle or by samples in the tasting room. Flavors include peach, cherry, blackberry, strawberry, and more. Wines will soon be available for online order as well.
8. Corey Lake Orchards, Three Rivers (St. Joseph County)
With more than 150 acres of orchards, vineyards, and fields, Corey Lake has U-Pick apples, blueberries, and sunflowers. Check out the bakery for fresh-pressed cider, fruit pies, and donuts. Corey Farms partners with local farmers, producers, and artisans to stock their market with top locally grown and made products.
The Wine: Corey Lake currently offers two sweet fruit wines, Double Cherry and Peach, which are available for purchase by the bottle or by sample in the tasting room. They also have a selection of hard ciders made with estate-grown apples and local honey and fruits that are available for purchase in 12 oz. bottles.
9. Uncle John’s Cider Mill, St. Johns (Clinton County)
Watch how cider is made, meander through the acres of sunflowers, go for a hayride, or send your little ones on the new small passenger train. Get ready for the Halloween at Uncle John’s pumpkin patch and visit again later this year to pick your tree at their Christmas tree lot.
The Wine: The taproom offers a variety of hard ciders, wines, and other spirits. Hard cider flavors include apple apricot, strawberry lavender, apple cranberry, sweet peach, raspberry rose, and more. The ciders are draft or are available for purchase in packs of four. Try the Harvest Red, Concord, Cranberry, or Fruit House Cherry wines, which are also available for sale by bottle.
10. Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill, Armada (Macomb County)
Pick from dozens of apple varieties, fill up on cider and donuts, take a wagon or train ride, then head to Funland, where you’ll find everything from jumping pillows to a John Deere speedway. For those who like chills with their thrills, Blake’s has three haunted attractions. Family fun season passes are available and include unlimited access to the Orchard & Cider Mill Funland, Blake’s Big Apple Funland (on the other side of town), and the skating rink.
The Wine: Blake’s Tasting Room offers a casual menu and their own branded wine as well as craft hard ciders and beer on tap. Blake’s has ten different Michigan-made wines, including Autumn Cranberry, Blueberry Fields, Armada Cherry Meritage, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay, as well as 32 hard ciders ranging from Mango Habanero to Pineapple to Three Berry Jam. Stop at the store after to buy a bottle or order select varieties online.