It may come as a surprise, but Michigan is ranked in the top 10 wine regions in the US. Many flock to Northern Michigan to enjoy The Great Lakes, but they aren’t only a lovely summertime activity; they also play an essential role in regulating the climate and protecting the vineyards from abrupt changes in the weather. Many of the wineries are within 25 miles of Lake Michigan; the area also sits on the 45th parallel. For most people, that doesn’t mean much, but for winemaking, it’s crucial. Wine grapes grow best between 30 and 50 degrees latitude; anything south of that is too warm, and north of it is too cold — putting the area in the perfect position.
So, if you’re planning a wine tour through Michigan, check out this lineup of wineries who are producing vegan wines! Also, make sure to check out my vegan guide to Traverse City or if you’re short on time, check out my two-day itinerary to Traverse City.
Is All Wine Vegan?
No, all wines aren’t naturally vegan. Often during the clarifying process, non-vegan agents like egg whites, casein, gelatin, and isinglass, better known as fish bladder are used! Thankfully, due to increased demand and winemakers’ preferences, not all wines are clarified with animal by-products. Many, including in Northern Michigan, use vegan clarifying agents like carbon, bentonite clay, kaolin clay, plant casein, and silica gel.
13 Michigan Wineries Producing Vegan Wine
If you’re planning a trip to Traverse City or the surrounding area, make sure you don’t miss a sip of any of these delicious vegan wines. Also, if you’re visiting in the fall, this area is one of the best spots in Michigan to enjoy the fall colors.
9825 E Engles Rd, Northport, MI 49670
This beautiful Northern Michigan organic farm has more than crisp vegan wine to savor; there is an entire orchard and a barnyard of four-footed friends! The entire farm is managed with sustainable practices to ensure the long-term health of the vineyard and its inhabitants. They believe “Healthy soil produces healthy plants that grow delicious fruit.” All their wines are produced with grapes from their 15-acre vineyard in small batches to ensure quality. Their menu includes Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Traminette, Vignoles, Blaufränkisch (a peppery red) and a little bit of Merlot. They also produce an array of hard apple and cherry ciders and make delicious sangria.
2290 S French Rd, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
This family-owned winery uses bentonite during the clarifying process, making all their wines vegan! Their wine selection features 15 varieties, including semi-sweet White Rieslings and Gewurztraminer, which have earned them international recognition. Their other wines range from a “Big Paw Red,” which is a fruity, everyday red blend, to special fruit wines like semi-sweet cherry wine.
3655 S French Rd, Cedar, MI 49621
If traditional French wine styles delight your taste buds, you will want to visit French Valley. The unique mineral-rich Michigan soil is perfect for producing French-style boutique fine wines. Their entire wine lineup is vegan and includes oaked chardonnay, semi-dry Riesling with hints of apple, spices, nectarines, guava, and a Michigan favorite cherry wine. Their beautiful property is also available to rent for special events.
6530 S Lake Shore Dr, Cedar, MI 49621
Over 100 varieties of vegan wine are grown at this beautiful family-owned vineyard in the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula. Their wine menu features traditional favorites like Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and rare varieties like Auxerrois, Siegerrebe, and Cayuga White. Aside from wine, they also make a variety of hard ciders like cherry, apple, and oak-aged. Currently, they are not doing tastings, but wine can be ordered by glass or bottle. They also welcome visitors to bring outside food and have a picnic on their property.
14916 Peninsula Dr, Traverse City, MI 49686
All the award-winning wines at this Mission Peninsula winery are vegan! Their estate-grown wines are produced in small batches using grapes from their vineyards. Their focus is on bright, dry, fruit-forward wines. Wine selections include dry and sweet bubbly Riesling, oaked and unoaked Chardonnay, and a variety of red wines. Stop by their tasting room to try a wine flight and if you love any of them, join their wine club!
8175 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686
This beautiful winery looks as if it has been plucked from Italy. The founder’s Italian heritage shines through, not only in the winery but also in the grapes! The winery is known for its exotic varieties like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese but also has classics like Cabernet Franc and Merlot. All the wines that they produce are vegan. Make sure you stop in for a tasting, or if you want to know more about their winemaking process, check out their walking tours. They also have vegan and gluten-free crackers to help balance your palate between sips!
12011 Center Rd, Traverse City, MI 49685
This self-proclaimed “rustic, yet elegant” winery seeks to educate its clients on the beauty and taste of Michigan wine. All the wines are vegan and created with grapes grown on their 19-acre vineyard. They specialize in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but produce Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc. Aside from wine tastings, they offer winery tours and food and wine pairing experiences. Their in-house chef tries to incorporate local produce as much as possible in all their tastings; if you call ahead, they can also work on accommodating vegan food requests.
806 Red Dr. Suite #100, Traverse City, MI 49684
Left Foot Charley teams up with 18 of Michigan’s best growers to create a wide variety of vegan wines and ciders. Their beautiful wine garden is perfect for enjoying a tasting flight of wines and ciders. Their menu includes a variety of reds, dry, and sweeter white wines. Aside from wine, they also produce a great lineup of hard apple ciders made with Michigan apples — their most popular is Cinnamon Girl.
3309 Blue Water Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686
This gorgeous winery is set back in a rolling vineyard, giving visitors a tranquil location to enjoy its fruit-focused wines. The American-style wine lineup includes crisp whites, smooth reds, and fruity roses — all of their wines are perfect for enjoying year-round! During the summer, they also have a secret garden that features 12 acres of fragrant lavender and gardens, along with a gift shop that sells a variety of bath products made with their lavender (all of the products are cruelty-free, and most are vegan).
#10 Chateau Chantal
15900 Rue Devin, Traverse City, MI 49686
This French Chateau in the middle of Mission Peninsula is known for a variety of wines — French, Italian whites, and sweet cherry! Don’t miss a stop here if you love cherry or sweet wines. They have a great lineup featuring the famed Traverse City cherries — Bubbly Cherry, Cerise Cherry Port, and Cerise Noir Port, but if you don’t want something quite that sweet, check out their Beguile bubbly!
12180 Sutter Rd, Kewadin, MI 49648
Located on Torch Lake, WaterFire is the first Certified Sustainable vineyard in the Midwest! This means they are dedicated to protecting the land, air, and employees by avoiding herbicides and using low-risk pesticides. All their Estate wines are vegan, which include Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling. Aside from wine, they also produce a Wild Hard Cider with local apples! Try them all in their tasting room or relax by the fire on their outdoor deck.
115 St Mary’s St, Lake Leelanau, MI 49653
Right on the water in the Village of Lake Leelanau, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the view. Instead of using animal-based fining agents, the team at Boathouse uses bentonite to create their superb red and white wines. Their wine menu includes traditional Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, a special Knot too Sweet wine, and their Boathouse Bubbly. Their red varieties include Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and many blends. Make sure you stop by to enjoy live music on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings in the summer.
4454 Atkins Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770
This family-owned maple winery is the first, and only one of its kind in Michigan, and all the wines are vegan. The winery has 4,500 maple taps and ferments the natural sugars in maple syrup to create a collection of unique wines and hard ciders. Some of their wine options are a semi-dry Michigan favorite, Maple Cherry, to a crisp and refreshing, Maple Peach. They also sell maple syrup, a variety of jams, and salsas. If you’re interested in learning more about their process, take a tour of their beautiful property and wine-making facility.
Planning Your Vegan Wine Tour
Start your Northern Michigan vegan wine tour in Traverse City. Many of the wineries are in the Leelanau area, making Traverse City a great starting point. And, while wine tasting is the name of the game, you’re going to need to eat! While you’re there, don’t miss the creative eats at Rad.ish Street Food and when your sweet tooth kicks in, head over to Third Coast Bakery for an unbelievable selection of vegan and gluten-free treats.
After you have your fill of the vegan wine scene in Leelanau, head north to beautiful Torch Lake to visit WaterFire Vineyards. After, finish your wine tour an hour north of Torch Lake in Petoskey at Maple Moon Sugarbush and Winery. While there isn’t an entirely vegetarian or vegan restaurant in Petoskey, Pour Kitchen serves an Impossible burger and a few vegan Asian dishes.