Fall in Love With Autumn in Leelanau

Fall in Love With Autumn in Leelanau

Fall in Love with Autumn in Leelanau


In Leelanau county, the end of summer is bittersweet. Days spent under the warm sun listening to the lapping waves on the beach pass, and in exchange, we enjoy the crisp, cold morning air and vibrant fall colors.


There is so much to love about each season in the Leelanau Peninsula. Autumn is by far my husband’s favorite time of year. Swimsuits are exchanged for sweaters; iced tea for warm apple cider; and the harvests come to an end as farmers settle down for a well-deserved rest.


The most alluring part of the Autumn season in the Suttons Bay, Traverse City, and Leelanau areas are the color tours and the wine festivals. Many customers have asked what events take place after the summer season, so we have put together a list of a few of the most popular festivals and tours hosted in the area.



While you are out and about exploring the county, colors, and wineries, stop in to visit us at The Bear Den! We have partnered with Michigan Warm Hugs Quilts, www.michiganwarmhugsquilts.com to offer a variety of snuggly, warm, Michigan-made blankets and quilts to keep our friends and customers warm on these chilly autumn days.


While snuggling up in your favorite blanket, have a warm cup of organic, locally made tea from Bear Earth Herbals – found at the Bear Den. Enjoy teas for their taste and health benefits - from delectable Chaga Chai, Wild Bear (containing Elderberry), to Tumeric tea blend. www.bearearthherbals.com



The Harvest Stompede

This nationally-known annual race is hosted just down the road from the Bear Den and takes place at the beginning of September. Participants can sign up for a 5K walk, 5K run, or a 7K run. The purchase of your ticket not only allows you to participate in the race and see the beautiful vineyards in Leelanau, but also includes wine and food pairings around the county at several participating vineyards. This is a unique way to experience the beauty of the vineyards while the grapes are ripening, see the county, and explore what many of our vineyards have to offer. When you are out and about, be sure to stop in to say hi to me and Jay! We are just down the street from Cicconi Winery. For more information, you can visit www.lpwines.com/events/harvest-stompede/


The Hunt for the Reds of October

This tour takes place in Leelanau any weekday during October. Tickets are only $10 – you get a complimentary pour at each participating winery -21 wineries participate-, a wine glass, and part of the proceeds from the event are donated to the American Red Cross. Each Thursday of the month, one of the wineries has extra swag and prizes for those enjoying the event. I have included a list of the participating wineries below. The Bear Den is on the corner of Hilltop and 22 and have enjoyed getting to know many of the participants. Along with our beautiful outdoor and indoor rustic décor, we offer rustic wine bottle and glass holders and other fun, unique gifts and souvenirs for wine enthusiasts.

 – The 2018 Wine List –

Aurora Cellars, Lake Leelanau: Taster’s Choice

Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery, Cedar: 2015 Pinot Noir

Black Star Farms, Suttons Bay: Vintners Select Pinot Noir

Blustone Vineyards, Lake Leelanau: 2016 Winemakers Red

Boathouse Vineyards, Lake Leelanau: 2016 Boathouse Red

Chateau de Leelanau, Suttons Bay: Hawkins Red

Chateau Fontaine, Lake Leelanau: Woodland Red

Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor: Cherry Red

Ciccone Vineyard, Suttons Bay: Cassie Red

45 North Vineyard & Winery, Lake Leelanau: 45 Red

French Valley Vineyards, Suttons Bay: 2011 Merlot

Good Harbor Vineyards, Lake Leelanau: Taster’s Choice

Laurentide, Lake Leelanau: 2016 Reserve Meritage

Leelanau Wine Cellars, Omena: 2016 Meritage

Mawby, Suttons Bay: 2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Redd

Nathaniel Rose Wines at Raftshol: 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah

Rove Estate, Traverse City: 2014 Cab Franc/Merlot

Shady Lane Cellars, Suttons Bay: Franc ‘n’ Franc

Silver Leaf Vineyard & Winery, Suttons Bay: Pinot Noir

Verterra Winery, Leland: Chaos Red

Willow Vineyard, Suttons Bay: Dry Rosé 


Harvest Wine Dinners & Wine and Cheese Tastings

The end of wine harvest season is a time for celebration! Many wineries and restaurants do just that, offering delicious dinners with wine pairings or fine cheeses and wine pairings for enthusiasts.


Chateau Chantal offers specials harvest dinners Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays through the season. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.traversecity.com/event-detail/2018-harvest-wine-dinners/7261/

Blackstar Farms offers premium wine and cheese tastings on Tuesdays and Thursdays through October.

Great Lakes Fish Boil

Blackstar Farms also hosts a fish boil every Thursday night through October. Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for kids. You can purchase tickets at https://www.traversecity.com/event-detail/black-star/farms-great-lakes-fish-boil/6779/


Wine Down Wednesdays

Rove Estate Vineyard & Tasting Room offers 20% off all small plates and glasses of wine and cider all day long through December.


For more events, please visit www.mynorthtickets.com


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