Escape to Mawby CountryMawby Vineyards & Winery

Mawby has long been the coolest of the cool. I mean, where else can have Sex in a glass (link to This past year, Michigan’s oldest and only sparkling wine house got even more awesome. That’s because they decided to tear down a wall that was separating their tasting room from one incredible floor-to-ceiling panoramic view of their beautiful orchard. I used to say there was no better place to be if you were in the mood for some bubbly. Now there’s no better place for really tranquil scenery that is as relaxing and mood altering as the wine. Sip some Green (link to as you gawk at the rolling green scene before you. Best of all, you can escape to Mawby and the surrounding countryside just few ruralesque roads off M22 in Suttons Bay.

Stunning Scenery at Suttons Bay CidersSuttons Bay Ciders (credit Suttons Bay Ciders)

Want to get a taste of the really good life while you’re exploring Leelanau Peninsula? Then I highly suggest you enjoy a flight of refreshing hard cider from what feels like a cool Leelanau pad set in the hilly landscape off M22 that overlooks West Grand Traverse Bay. Cider folks, this is your place. Whether you’re sipping a glass on the adjacent deck that ascends seemingly miles up or bellying up to the wood bar and enjoying a sweeping view of the bay from rambling windows that span the hardwood paneled tasting room, this is Leelanau ambiance at its best.

Ooh La La Lake Views at French Valley Vineyards French Valley Vineyards

If you want to be right on the water, eased back in an Adirondack chair with a good glass of perfectly oaked Chardonnay or an easy sipping Pinot Noir, French Valley is the tasting room to be. Designed with a romantic French Bistro in mind, French Valley oozes charm from the moment you spot the inviting blue Wine Tasting sign that gives way to an arbor covered pathway leading to a chalet-style tasting room. But here’s the kicker. All this fantastical Frenchness is nestled DIRECTLY on the bay. As if there’s not enough unadulterated bliss to take it, French Valley also serves up gourmet pizzas, baked right while you watch in a wood-fired oven. See what I mean? It just doesn’t get much better than this.

Epic Elevation at Rove Estate Rove Estate Vineyard & Winery

Rove easily proves that you don’t need expansive lake views to feel like you just hit the jackpot of northern Michigan scenery. Set back on a rolling hill right off of W72 - which makes it so easy to stop in for a glass or three on your way back to Glen Arbor after a day in Traverse City - you’ll know right away as you make your way up the signature winding gravel driveway that you’re headed toward something really special - the highest point on the Leelanau Peninsula, in fact. Tasting note: If you like a crisp, smooth-drinking white, do yourself a favor and order a glass of the 2016 Unoaked Chardonnay. I could easily blow through a bottle of this while glimpsing out at seemingly 50 shades of green that pop out from nearly every direction. Lucky for me, this glass-walled tasting room is on my way home - and I have to tell you, the views just never get old.

Hidden Charm at Blustone Vineyards Blustone Vineyards (credit Bluestone)

Somewhere over the rainbow (or just some trees separating M204 and N Sylt Rd), Blustone VIneyards boasts another gorgeous tasting room with just mind-blowing views of the grape-growing northern Michigan countryside. Blustone is one of those wineries I’d visit even sans the terrific tasting room views (their wine is in my top 3 picks for the peninsula) but once you’re basking in the glow of wine country from their expansive picture windows or cozying up to the fire pit with your Riesling in tow, you will know why it’s also in my top picks for the view. You just simply cannot go wrong at Blustone - the owners have impeccable taste and it shows in everything you taste and see. Note the distinction between the crisp, ultra modern feel of the tasting room and the rolling bucolic views that lay beyond. Go and experience this for yourself and be sure to taste their Pinot Noir selections.