Many Chicagoans are familiar with the wineries of nearby southwest Michigan, which provide a nice day-trip destination. But Michigan’s wine country extends further north, as well, with nearly 15 wineries on the Leelanau Peninsula.
In September, the Leelanau Peninsula Vintner’s Association hosts its annual Harvest Stompede, where participants can choose a 5K run or walk of a 7-mile run through the area’s vineyards. The race is, of course, accompanied by a wine tasting tour. If there’s anything that can get us to run, it’s a glass or two of wine at the end. And running through a scenic vineyard can’t be too bad either.
Also in September is the Epicurean Classic in Traverse City, Mich. The two-day event includes cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, receptions and dinners and draws chefs from as far away as Stockholm and Trinidad. This year’s presenters include grilling expert Diane Morgan and Chicago’s Carlyn Berghoff, CEO of Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group.
The Leelanau Peninsula is about a five-hour drive from Chicago.