Peninsula Cellars – The Backstory

Peninsula Cellars is located on the Old Mission Peninsula, just north of Traverse City, Michigan. The region lies along the 45th parallel like the other wine regions including Alsace, Burgundy, and Bordeaux.  From the website, this is how Peninsula describes their wine making:

Our philosophy toward wine making has always been very minimalistic, allowing the regional expression of the fruit to come through. The sun, the rain, the wind, and the soil, all under the watchful eye of the grower, are what make our wines so good.

Schoolhouse Theme

The winery itself sits on over 20 acres of land in northern Michigan.  When you visit, the tasting room is truly unique – located in a one room schoolhouse that was build around 1896.  The building operated as a school until the 1950s.  A few years it sat vacant, for some time it was used by a local artist as their studio, and in 1998 the building became the tasting room for Peninsula Cellars.

Chalkboards are used to tell about the wines and winery.  And, now I know why “Detention” is the name for one of their blends. The have some other names – like Homework – that also carry the school theme into the wines.

Laid Back Tasting Room

As I read through reviews on Yelp, I was impressed to find great reviews of the laid back feel of Peninsula Cellar’s tasting room.  Many visitors appreciate the friendly, helpful team that knows their wine and wants to help you learn.  Here are some of the quotes from Yelp:

The tasting room is located in a historic wood schoolhouse surrounded by lush vineyards and orchards. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and engaging. You get 6 complimentary tastings. No bells and whistles here because they don’t need any to impress! – Caroline M.

This may have been my favorite winery in the Traverse City area. Located on the Old Mission Peninsula, the tasting room of this winery is located in an old schoolhouse. The staff here was very friendly and helpful, and not at all snobby.  You get 6 tastings for free, although our staff member let us try more. – Jenna P.

Then we went to Peninsula Cellars – the complete opposite of that douche-tastic winery.  Set right on the side of the road, PC is a one room building packed to the gills with delicious wines.  They offer 4 free tastes with optional upgrades if you want.  The people there are friendly and knowledgable, and never douchey.  Last year we fell so in love with the Homework that when we went to get more and it was sold out, I nearly cried.  So I vowed not to run out this year – and we just bought a case yesterday!! – Kelly G.

Hot Rod Red

As I reviewed the wines available, I realized that a cherry wine I enjoy is also from Peninsula Cellars – Hot Rod Red.  The bottle of this wine is really cool and I hope to feature that design sometime in the future.  If you haven’t tried a cherry wine, I would definitely recommend the Hot Rod red.

Summary

There is a great combination of fun and history with the Pennisula Cellar brand.  For those who live in Michigan or are planning a trip to the state, I would recommend visiting the winery.  I’m definitely putting a trip on my list the next time I’m in Traverse City!  In the meantime, pick up a bottle of one of their wines and give it a try.

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