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PETOSKEY, MI – MARCH, 2019: Staying home for a spring break or holiday is often more appealing than the busyness of getting ready for a vacation. Staycations are becoming evermore popular.
“Not everyone takes off for a week-long spring break,” explains Bob Keedy of Wineguys Restaurant Group. “We wanted to reach out to our friends and neighbors to make a stay-at-home spring break a little more appealing.”
Embrace the long Winter season with these local dinners, community events, and cooking classes in the Traverse City area! There’s plenty of opportunities for everyone to get out of the house on the frightful Winter days ahead.
Chateau Chantal Winery & Inn is situated high on a ridge overlooking the rolling vineyards and cherry orchards of Old Mission Peninsula, a perfect backdrop to experience Fall in Northern Michigan. Enjoy the sweeping views of East and West Grand Traverse Bay while enjoying local food and the perfect wine pairing that awaits you. With a 25-year legacy of food and wine education through cooking classes, pairing seminars, wine dinners and gourmet breakfast preparation, Chateau Chantal will impress with an elevating wine experience and a relaxed atmosphere.
What makes northern Michigan so iconic? One could argue that it’s the 105 miles of “fresh coast” surrounded by countless hiking trails, ski hills, lake life, and the world-renowned Sleeping Bear Dunes. Others would say it’s the dozens of festivals hosted throughout the year including the Cherry Festival, Film Festival, or Polka Festival. Some may say it’s simply the diverse foodie options served by that sweet midwestern hospitality. But, only one thing pairs well with all of these iconic experiences: wine. Rove Estate & Winery in northern Michigan is an absolute staple of all things Traverse City, therefore may be one of the most iconic locations of them all.
Travel is in my future for 2018. My food and wine-seeking radar is taking me to a destination that I have only dreamed about: South America. When planning a trip in the spring, I always try to make it a warm get away and going to South America at the end of March is like our September, so it should be warm and sunny. I am taking 14 hardy souls who have also never been to South America. I have actually never been south of the Equator and we will be traveling to almost the South Pole!
Looking for a way to shop local this holiday season? Check out our holiday gift guide and support Michigan producers and growers this season.
The job of a farmer is never done. To do it well, they must think critically and instinctively to determine the vast number of influences a plant may be under at any given time. The work is labor intensive, never just 9-5, and with all the effort and best intentions — mother nature gets the final say. It’s an incredible career, worthy of the utmost respect and this region is lucky enough to have generations of farm families that still tend the land today.
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and can coast down them…. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motorcar only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”
~ Ernest Hemingway
Some may argue there’s no greater combo than pairing a bucolic bike ride with a glass of wine (or two) when you reach your destination. I’ll do you one (or a few) better….how about biking to a vineyard in northeastern Michigan and being greeted with a cornucopia of wines, a pop-up food bar created by a local chef, and a tour of the almost 15 year old vines with Thunder Bay Winery and vineyard owners? Well, look no further: Tour De Vine with Harborside Cycle and Sport has become an annual event to celebrate just outside of Alpena, in pastoral Ossineke, a place that has become surprisingly fruitful for Michigan grown grapes.
Like many of the gems of northeastern Michigan, Stoney Acres Winery is a family legacy of determination and local artistry off the beaten path. Located outside of downtown Alpena, tucked away on a small neighborhood street, the winery has been around since 2003, when Jim and Helen Grochowski and their daughter Amy introduced wines to the public in the tessellated tasting room. Since that time, the shop has expanded to offer candies, hand-dipped truffles made with their wines, Shipwreck sodas made with Michigan sugar, and now a whole new summer farm-to-table experience.
Total disclosure: I have never made risotto before, but I saw a recipe for Butternut Squash, Leek, and Basil Risotto from Bon Appetit magazine and had to make it.