Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

by Julie Royce / Mar 16, 2009 /
Julie Royce's picture

Warming from the Inside Out

If you are looking for indoor ways to spend a winter day you might consider one of my favorites: drive to Mission Peninsula and enjoy casual wine tasting capped with a delicious dinner at The Mission Table.

The tasting rooms of Chateau Chantal Winery and Inn, the Chateau Grand Traverse, and Peninsula Cellars are open year round.  Mission Peninsula lies at the 45th parallel; midway between the North Pole and the equator thus providing the proper temperatures when combined with the gentle breezes and fertile soil to create a perfect environment for growing high-quality wine grapes. (The world famous wine-growing regions of Alsace, Burgundy and Bordeaux also lie near the 45th parallel.)

Chateau Chantal (click for rates and availability) combines vineyards, a bed and breakfast and views of East and West Grand Traverse Bay. Robert and Nadine Begin founded the winery as part of life-altering career changes. Robert had served twelve years as a Catholic priest in Detroit and Nadine had joined the Felician Sisters before they decided to marry and pursue a dream of opening a European style winery and B & B.  The Begins produce Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Merlot and Riesling from their 65 acres of grapes.  Winter hours are Monday to Saturday 11-5 and Sunday Noon to 5. 

Chateau Chantal - East Bay Wine Terrace. From Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

Chateau Chantal - East Bay Wine Terrace. From Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

 

The Chateau Grand Traverse (click for info) on the Old Mission Peninsula, produces award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay and Gamay. Traverse City is famous for its cherry orchards and Chateau Grand Traverse also produces cherry wines. The tasting room is open Monday to Saturday 10 to 5 Sunday noon to 5.

Bins of Grapes, Chateau Grand Traverse. From Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

Chateau Grand Traverse Vineyards. From Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

Peninsula Cellars Tasting Room (231/933-9787), 11480 Center Road, Old Mission Peninsula  is a family-owned winery with its tasting room in a converted one room schoolhouse built in the late 1800s. In 2006 Peninsula Cellars’ Select Riesling garnered a Jefferson Cup award during a highly select wine competition.  Open Monday to Saturday 11 to 4 and Sunday noon to 5.

Peninsula Cellars. From  Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

Peninsula Cellars. From  Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

After an afternoon spent enjoying the gracious staff at these wineries,you may find yourself ravenous.  I have just the place to satiate your hunger. Mission Table at 13512 Peninsula Drive, Old Mission Peninsula, (231/223-4222) offers many interesting entrees. I recommend the Hard Cider Glazed Free Range Chicken Breast served with mashed potatoes, butternut squash and onions – a true comfort food for a blustery winter evening. Save room for the French Fried Ice Cream that comes with a cookie crust and Bananas Foster Sauce. Winter Hours are reduced to Thursday 5 to 9 and Saturday and Sunday 5 to 10 pm.  Reservations are recommended for fine dining. You may prefer to enjoy more casual fare and enjoy barbeque back ribs or beer battered perch.

Mission Table. From  Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

While at Mission Table, get the full scoop on their resident ghost, Genevive. In the 1880s, J.W. Stickney, a wealthy Chicago lumber baron built Bowers Harbor as a summer retreat for his wife Genevive.  Instead of bringing the eccentric Genevive happiness her weight grew and she became ever more paranoid that her husband was having an affair (she may have been right). Her beloved home became the site of her tragic suicide, but Genevive has been a vocal and restless ghost since her demise. The details of her story have been shared on Unsolved Mysteries. Her hauntings of Bower Harbor are legend and diners in the restaurants have witnessed firsthand her fury.

 

Mission Table. From  Michigan's Small Town Treasures: Wineries & Dinner on Mission Peninsula

 

 

Learn more at http://www.traversecity.com

 

 

Photos courtesy and copyright Traverse City Tourism www.traversecity.com

 

 

Julie Albrecht Royce, Michigan Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a bi-weekly column (monthly in winter) for wanderingeducators.com, entitled Michigan's Small Town Treasures.

 

 

 

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