West Central Wine Trail Doesn’t Disappoint

Vander Mill Cider Display, taken with Instagram

With the plethora of wine tasting events this month, it’s difficult to know which event to attend. I decided to go to the Spring Vintage Unveiling in Hudsonville last week, since it was only $15 and featured wineries from our region-plus it was raising money for a good cause (Healing with Hope and Happiness).

I have to admit that the husband (DH) and I don’t do much wine touring and tasting in West Michigan. We LOVE Traverse City and the two peninsulas of wines there. While we love Fenn Valley, many of the lower West Michigan wines tend to be overly sweet. I have been known to refer to St. Julian’s as the Boone’s Farm of Michigan.

When we walked in the door, DH was pleasantly surprised to see many cider makers there, including one of our favorites, Vander Mill. He had just judged the Great Lakes Cider and Perry Competition last weekend. We were also excited to discover that people from the actual wineries were at the tables (although not serving, for some weird alcohol rule). I can’t tell you how many events we’ve attended where the pourer had absolutely no knowledge of the beer or wine they were serving. For wine and beer geeks like us, it’s awesome to be able to talk about the processes and differences between varieties with people who also appreciate a good drink.

We were careful to ask for dry wines, and even though there weren’t many that were what one would consider dry in the traditional sense, we did manage to avoid any overly sweet wines. The big surprise of the evening was how much we enjoyed Cody Kresta’s wines-we went back and spent a few extra tickets at their booth. Plus the photos of their homestead have inspired us to schedule a trip to tour other wineries on the lakeshore.

If you have a little time, it’s worth making the trip, either around town or slightly south, to visit some of these wineries. While the quality is not as spectacular as some of Traverse City’s wineries, there are some good picks and it’s a heck of a lot closer.

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