Work Out with Wine

Get active at these Michigan wineries, which offer yoga, hiking, and more
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Yoga in the Vines is hosted at Black Star Farms by Becky Kalajian. Photo courtesy of Black Star Farms

Exercise doesn’t have to entail hitting the treadmill or picking up dumbbells. At these Michigan wineries, it’s easy to get active thanks to hiking trails, yoga classes, and (soon) even platform tennis. (Plus, there’s always a glass of wine waiting for you when you’re done!)

Yoga
At Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, guests are invited to relax and unwind during “Yoga in the Vines” this July. These Sunday morning classes, which are held rain or shine, are suitable for yogis of any skill level.

“The goal is to have our guests come and relax and enjoy, whether they have a longtime practice or are coming to the mat for the first time,” says Sherri Campbell Fenton, managing owner of Black Star Farms.

The classes cost $40 and include a glass or flight of wine afterward (guests can also attend the class without the wine for $25). Local instructor Becky Kalajian leads the sessions.

“Becky is an incredible yoga instructor and all-around fantastic and positive person who we love to partner with,” Campbell Fenton says.

Learn more and sign up at blackstarfarms.com/yoga-vines. As an exciting addition to its yoga programs, Black Star Farms also plans to offer goat yoga in June.

Lazy Ballerina Winery will host its Yoga & Wine event on Saturday, April 27, at 10:45 a.m. at the St. Joseph tasting room. The 50-minute, beginner-friendly session will be taught by Megan Regan of Tempest Yoga. Tickets are $30 and include a glass of wine or hard cider following the class. Mats are not supplied for this class, so guests should bring their own. Sign up at lazyballerinawinery-108794.square.site (reservations are required).

Platform Tennis
Dune Bird Winery in Northport recently announced a partnership with Paddle Courts of Leelanau to add platform tennis courts by the winery. Construction is slated to start on two courts this spring and is expected to wrap up this fall.

“This unique collaboration fits the vision of Dune Bird to create a community gathering place,” wrote Dune Bird co-owner Nicole White in a winery newsletter in February. “We love bringing people together and facilitating an environment that bridges gaps. What a cool way to add another element to that vision.”

Paddle Courts of Leelanau is still raising funds for the project and seeking new members. Dune Bird’s Flight Club members get 5% off the tennis club’s initiation fee, and members of the tennis club will be able to join the Flight Club free of charge. Learn more at paddleleelanau.com.

Snowshoeing and Hiking Trails
In Traverse City, Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery’s Winter Trail offers plenty of terrain for cold-weather activities.

“The trail opened in winter of 2020,” says Taylor Scott, digital marketing and events
manager at Brys Estate. “When indoor service was not permitted for a period of time, it prompted us to think of other ways to utilize our sprawling estate and offer guests a unique experience.”

The trails cater to intermediate-level hikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers. They are family and pet friendly, and guests who are at least 21 can enjoy an alcoholic beverage from the on-site tasting room as they explore. Nonalcoholic beverages such as warm apple cider, soft drinks, and juice boxes are also available.

Back at Black Star Farms, trails allow visitors to explore the winery’s estate through a new, wintry lens.

“We have recreation trails, which are appropriate for hiking, snowshoeing, or mountain biking,” Campbell Fenton says. “They range from flat terrain to rolling hills, so there’s something for everyone.”

The hiking trails at Black Star Farms range from flat terrain to rolling hills. Photo courtesy of Black Star Farms

While guests are welcome to bring their own snow gear, the winery offers snowshoe rentals every Saturday throughout the winter. After a long day on the trail, visitors are invited to warm up with house-made soup, wood-fired pizza, and mulled wine.

“Even when we don’t have snow, the trail is popular for our guests that enjoy exercising outdoors,” Campbell Fenton says. “Without snow, the trail simply offers a scenic winter hike.”

Aurora Cellars in Lake Leelanau also offers a unique chance for outdoor exercise. “People love to come and hike around the vineyards,” says Devon Kessler, digital marketing manager at Aurora Cellars, of the winery’s two trails. “They can follow up their hike in the tasting room or in one of our outdoor igloos with a glass of wine and a charcuterie board.” The Cellar Trail is 0.53 mile, and the Estate Trail is 1.2 miles, but hikers or snowshoers who are seeking a longer route can take on both trails as one larger loop.

The trails allow visitors to embrace the beauty of a winter spent Up North. “We want people to enjoy the entire Aurora Cellars property,” Kessler says. “People love to be outdoors and enjoy the beauty that exists on the Leelanau Peninsula. Many people think about visiting the area in the summer, but there is truly something special and unique about each season.”

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