Michigan Winery Tour

An important aspect of empty-nesting is keeping the spark alive in your marriage.  My husband and I like to take short weekend getaways to reconnect and relax together. One of our favorite fall destinations is along the west coast of Michigan. Who knew this area would be known for their wineries? This is our 3rd annual visit and we are still discovering our favorites.
Our neighbors decided to take the trip with us this year, and we found a great townhome to rent on VRBO. We stayed in The Chesapeake at the Beach House managed by Unsalted Vacations.  Other than finding a sticky lollipop under the loveseat, the unit was clean and very nice.


The Chesapeake at the Beach House

The weekend was rainy and cold, but that didn’t spoil our fun. We just added an extra layer of clothes.

walking along Lake Macatawa
Holland Harbor Lighthouse
even the gulls were cold!
still loving the view!
Let’s keep each other warm!

After our outside adventure, it was time to warm up inside with food and drink. Our first pit stop was at New Holland Pub on 8th. New Holland Brewery was established in 1997 and is known for their artisanal craft beers.

Brian beer tasting
the still at New Holland Brewery

Since I was the only non-beer drinker in the group, I thought I would try one of their craft spirits. I have never been a gin drinker, but I am now a fan after tasting the Blueberry Fitzgerald.

Blueberry Fitzgerald ~ I’m going to have to try to duplicate this at home!

Our next stop was to Great Legs Winery, Brewery and Distillery.  Of course, the reason we chose this location was due to the fun name but it turned out to be a very quaint tasting room. The owner, Jim Granzotto, explained his entire process for creating each wine. He even took us in the back where his magic happens. He explained that the “legs” in wine tasting are the streaks that look like raindrops down the wine glass after you swirl it around, hence the name “Great Legs”.  Interesting tidbit I would say. This winery has local artists display their work, along with offer painting classes. In the evenings, you can find live music.  Be sure to check them out if you are in the area.

Great Legs Winery Brewery Distillery

crushed grapes fermenting into wine

Enjoying our mid-day date at the winery

Grand Haven

After cooking breakfast in our fully-stocked kitchen, we headed up to Grand Haven to check out the town. It’s a very cute down with great stores. To get out of the rain, we ducked into the Tri-Cities Historical Museum to learn about the local area. One of my favorite exhibits was the menu and table setting from the Victoria era.

Victorian Era dining room
Victorian Era menu

South Haven

I have always loved boats and marinas and South Haven has a pretty cool one.  Because it was a little cold, there weren’t many large yachts to daydream over, but we were able to walk out to the lighthouse. The beaches are a hidden gem and we are definitely going to have to come back in the summer.

Lighthouse at South Haven
Nothing better than good friends!
Our attempt at a selfie


Karma Vista Winery

Several years ago, my husband and I came across Karma Vista Vineyards on one of our fall trips. We were sure to go again this year. Let me just say, my husband has made a point to stop here whenever he is in the area for business just to pick up more bottles of their wines.  This is by far one of my favorite Michigan wineries.  The vineyards are gorgeous and the store and tasting room are charming, with large windows overlooking the landscape. Their wines have fun names to go with their complex flavors; Devil’s Head Red, Stone Temple Pinot, Gunzan Rosé.

Vineyard at Karma Vista
a row of Pinot Noir grapes
maybe our selfie skills are improving? But we really wanted to show the vineyard.

Even though the weather wasn’t the best, we were still able to have a fantastic trip. It was exactly what we needed to keep our marriage at the forefront, as well as build lasting friendships. We will definitely return next year. The guys are already talking about adding a day of fishing while the girls shop in Saugatuck. There’s nothing better than sharing a fun adventure with friends.

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