Cabernet Franc: Similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, but lighter and less astringent.

Cabernet Sauvignon: With origins in France, this is a full-bodied — typically dry — red wine with medium acidity that is best enjoyed with food.

Chambourcin: These wines range from dark and concentrated to light and pleasant.

Merlot: Typically softer than Cabernet Sauvignon, with notes of fruit.

Pinot Noir: A dry red wine with fruit aromas.


Chardonnay: Aged in stainless steel and oak barrels, depending on the winery, Michigan Chardonnay tends to be crisp and clean with notes of fruit.

Gewürztraminer: Produced dry or medium sweet, this aromatic white wine is low on acidity.

Marsanne: A full-bodied dry white wine with fruit and/or floral aromas.

Riesling: This is a great Michigan wine, with many wineries here producing excellent dry versions as well as the better-known semi-dry and sweeter styles. Also look for Sparkling Riesling and ice wine versions.

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris: Michigan winemakers are producing styles that range from dry to on the sweeter side, often with floral, fruit and/or citrus tones.

Sauvignon Blanc: Wines made from this grape range from the very austere, delicious, steely Fumé Blancs to fruity Sauvignon Blancs.

Seyval Blanc: A crisp, dry white wine with such notes as grass, hay, apples and/or citrus, depending on where it’s grown.

Syrah: Fruit-driven Syrah has an intense color and rich, full-bodied texture.

Traminette: Similar to Gewürztraminer, Traminette leans dry and is known for its spicy and floral aromas.

Vidal Blanc: A fruity wine made from a hybrid white wine grape.


Auxerrois: Offered in both sparkling and still varieties by various Michigan winemakers, Auxerrois is a fruit-driven dry white wine.

Blaufränkisch (Lemberger): A dry, fruity red wine.

Ice Wine: A sweet dessert wine made from grapes that are still frozen on the vines; sugars don’t freeze, allowing for a more concentrated, sweeter flavor.

Sparkling Wine: Michigan winemakers offer sparkling wines that range from ultra-sweet to extremely dry.




Michigan Wine Country readers share their Michigan winery experiences.