Celebrate the Holidays with Michigan Wineries

Tasting rooms around the state mark the season with events, gifts, and promotions
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Black Star Farms is hosting Brunch with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 11. Photo courtesy of Black Star Farms

It’s that time of year again at Michigan wineries! While some wineries continue to put events on hold until the new year, there’s still plenty to do this holiday season at tasting rooms around the state. Plus, find gifts for loved ones (or yourself) at wineries’ websites, stores, and tasting rooms. Here’s a sampling of the events, gifts, and promotions available to brighten your holiday season.

Events
Vineyard 2121 in Benton Harbor is hosting a Winter Tea Light Paint Night on Thursday, Nov. 18, where guests will each paint a set of three glass tea lights — while enjoying a beverage of their choice and heavy hors d’oeuvres. The craft is $65 per person. Call the winery at 269-849-0109 or visit in person to reserve your spot.

The 2021 Luminary Festival in St. Joseph will feature both Lazy Ballerina Winery and White Pine Winery, among a variety of other small businesses in the lakeside town, on Friday, Nov. 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Experience St. Joseph’s kickoff to the holiday season.

The 2019 Wine-ter Fest at Cherry Creek Cellars. Photo courtesy of Cherry Creek Cellars

Cellar 1914 will participate in East Jordan’s Jingle on the Streets Pub Crawl on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m. Visit each of five participating locations and get your passport stamped to receive a free T-shirt in thanks for supporting local small businesses.

Cherry Creek Cellars’ annual Wine-ter Fest takes place on Saturday, Dec. 4, from noon to 10 p.m. in Brooklyn, Michigan. “It’s really a celebration of the season,” says Cherry Creek owner Patrick Spensley. “Kind of a German Christmas market feel [coming] to us here in the Irish Hills.” The event centerpiece is a tent that will house vendors of locally produced artisan crafts during the day and transition to a music and bier tent in the evening. “All day long we’ll have a German-themed menu and food specials along with a warm spiced wine in addition to our normal menu and wine, beer, and cider list,” Spensley says. Admission is $5 or a donation of new or gently used hats, gloves, or scarves. The winery plans to donate the items to homeless shelters in Jackson County and Lenawee County. For the most up-to-date information or to book an igloo for the event, visit Cherry Creek Cellars’ Facebook page or call the tasting room at 517-592-4663.

Get crafty at Youngblood Vineyards’ Holiday Grapevine Wreath Making Class on select dates from Dec. 4 to Dec. 19 in Ray, Michigan. Participants will learn to make a wreath from the winery’s estate-grown grapevines and get to take their creation home! The class is $40 per person and includes all materials and one glass of wine (additional glasses are available for purchase). Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Brunch with Santa is back at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay on Saturday, Dec. 11. Both adults ($39) and kids ($19 for ages 2–10; free for kids under 2) will find something to enjoy, with a strolling brunch, mimosas and wines, and visits with Santa at the Inn at Black Star Farms. Seating is limited, so don’t wait to purchase your tickets!

Live music is a regular fixture at Ciccone Vineyard & Winery in Suttons Bay, but Live from the Hilltop: Holiday Edition on Sunday, Dec. 12, will be a special holiday treat. Rhett & John will perform classic carols and new favorite holiday tunes from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

Join Black Star Farms at its Suttons Bay location for a New Year’s Eve dinner at 6 p.m. This three-hour dining experience includes a welcome cocktail, a multicourse dinner, and wine pairings for the all-inclusive price of $175 per person.

Gifts and Promotions
Aurora Cellars is offering gift sets available for shipping and pickup at the Lake Leelanau tasting room. The Sensational and Sparkling ($50), Dark and Savory ($60), and Sweet Delight ($55) assortments include wine, chocolate, and either coffee beans, hand-crafted soap, or a scented candle, each from a local business. The Artisanal Basket ($100) includes your choice of Aurora Cellars wine and the winery staff’s expert pairing of complementary chocolate truffles, a soy candle, handmade soap, and coffee beans. The winery also offers gift cards in $25, $50, and $100 amounts.

Photo courtesy of Chateau Chantal

The Secret Garden at Brys Estate in Traverse City has put together holiday gift sets of sweet-smelling toiletry products. Customizable as well as curated sets are available in multiple sizes. Choose from hand and body lotion, soap, shower gel, room and linen spray, lip balm, and more. Free shipping is offered on orders of $50 or more.

Chateau Chantal’s Holiday Gift Guide is chock-full of holiday gifts sure to please everyone on your list. It’s “a nice way to make it really easy for people shopping for gifts online,” says Kyle Brownley, director of marketing at the Traverse City winery. The gift guide features a selection of wines fit for the holidays, including the winery’s signature Naughty and Nice red and white wines ($14 each). Each pair of wines is made from the same blend, but the Naughty wines are drier and the Nice sweeter.

Photo courtesy of Chateau Chantal

The winery also offers holiday packs for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. “If you’re thinking, ‘Well, I’ve got 10 people coming over for Thanksgiving,’” Brownley says, “we’ll put together a pack that would have something for everybody and then something that would complement most common dishes for Thanksgiving.” And if you need to do any last-minute shopping, you can purchase Chateau Chantal’s last-minute gift cards, delivered via email. Shop using the online store on Cyber Monday for 20% off on all wines. Shipping discounts apply year-round and can be paired with volume discounts.

Purchase a holiday gift pack from Fenn Valley Vineyards for the wine lover in your life. The packs cost $40–$56 and include three bottles of wine, a customized card, wine-themed holiday gift packaging, and UPS ground shipping. Fenn Valley offers a Semi-Dry Pack, a Winemaker’s Pack, and a Fruit Wine Pack. Gift cards are also available in any amount starting at $10.

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