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Different Varieties of Wine Grapes Found in Michigan

One of the best things about living in Michigan is that you are never too far away from a winery or a vineyard. That’s because the state grows a wide variety of wine grapes that make some delicious wines, offering something for everybody.

While the state started its booming wine production with just a few native grape varieties, Michigan is now home to over 50 different grape varieties that offer wine producer a wide range of flavors to play with when making their wines.

The grapes used to make wine fall under three major categories, namely European, French/American hybrids, and Native American. Before you go on a wine tour, here are some of the different wines you can expect to taste in the state of Michigan.

Native American

When it comes to the grapes that are native to the United States, there are many different species, but the Vitis labrusca has got to be one of the more well-known varieties. Other varieties of grapes include the Concord, Catawba, and Niagara. While Catawba was once an important grape variety in Michigan, it has lost its popularity through the years. As far as wine grapes that are native to the US go, Niagara and Concord are the most grown grape varieties in the state of Michigan.

European Varieties

The European varieties of grapes that are found in the Michigan branch from a single species of grapes called Vitis Vinifera that grows in Europe. The European varieties of grapes, such as Chianti and Bordeaux, grow well along the shoreline of Lake Michigan mainly because the temperature and soil there is like that of some of the best wine growing regions of Europe such as Germany, Alsace, and Champagne.

The grapes that are grown within 25 miles of Lake Michigan are considered to be the best for making wines because of the “lake effect” which helps moderate the temperature and keeps the grapes from freezing. Not only does Lake Michigan help cool the air, it protects the fall crop from falling victim to an early frost while preventing the spring crop of wine grapes from blooming too early.

Some of the well-known European wine varieties that are grown in the state of Michigan include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Merlot.

French/American Hybrids

The French/American hybrids are a cross between native and European grape varieties. These hybrids are more resistant to the cold or disease, which makes them a popular choice in Michigan. Some of the famous wines produced by hybrid grapes include Chambourcin, Vignoles, Seyval Blanc, Chancellor, Chardonel, Vidal Blanc, Traminette, and Marechal Foch.

By far, the best part about going on a wine tour in Michigan with Coastal Tours is that you get to enjoy all these different varieties that Michigan wineries and vineyards have to offer, and since they are in close proximity to each other, you won’t have to travel far to taste some of the most delicious wines in the US.

The best part about booking our guided tours is because each tour is an education one, which means you are going to get to learn something new every time you take a wine tour with us. To book a tour to one of the wineries featured on Coastal Tours please feel free to visit our website here and get a commitment-free quote.

Cheers & don't drink and drive,

Coastal Tours



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