Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wine & Bike Tour

This weekend was one of the best we've had in a long time.
Perfect weather, beautiful autumn colors and really delicious wine to sip.
Add to that a 40 mile bike ride, our favorite shop dog, beaches and camping and we're in heaven.

The trip is a perfect ode to everything Michigan. The colors, the flavors, the scents, the scenery.

We start our adventure at a local state park. In all fairness to our backpacking ways, I will tell you it is a fully modern campsite. But for the trip we're taking, it was perfect. After a day of cycling in 70 degree sunshine, a nice shower in a cleaned-once-a-day locker room was just right.

This was shop dog's first real camping trip and he was pretty geeked about it.
Our first night kicked off with a casual ride around town, in search of an outdoor restaurant that was Scout-friendly. Alas, being October, many had already put away their patio tables for the season. So we dined (happily!) at House of Doggs and chatted with visitors making friends with Scout.

After a bonfire and a few beers back at camp, we fell into a blissful sleep under the stars.

The next morning, after a quick patio breakfast at Morsels (homemade breakfast sandwiches, espresso and bite size cake "morsels"... oh wow... too good for words), we set off for the vineyards!

First stop was Black Star Farms... let me just say, how they get the pears into the bottles of Spirit of Pear liquor is astonishing.

The rest of the trip was a fabulous blur of wine tastings, flying down hills on my trust Peppermint Patty bike and waving at travelers as they "awww"ed at Scout in his trailer.

Sitting on the patio of Bowers Harbor, with a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio in my hand, a dog at my feet and a view of the autumn colors and winding vines... all I can say it, this feels like Heaven.

The wine stewards are such cool cats; hip, funny, warm and honest. They have extra tasting tables set up around the property to avoid lines and crowds.

"How's the hard cider?" I ask and the fiesty woman behind the counter shoots back with "I only like red wine, so here, try it for yourself!" and pours me a big glass. Love that. The other gentleman, who appears to have stepped right out of a mid-1940's jazz scene, seamlessly pours from different bottles, taking care of the crowd of wine-hungry guests with ease.

Of all the vineyards we visited, this cozy little place felt like a vacation home. Our dog got to hang with Brix, the winery dog and we felt like we never wanted to leave.

As we grow this business and take on new adventures, we know in our hearts that we've found the epitome of Great Lakes Adventure trips. This is to become our signature, our classic.
The food, the wines, the people,... this is what it's all about.

This, as they say, is pure Michigan.
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