Fast Facts

  • Leelanau’s wine industry ignited in 1970 when Bernie Rink planted 15 acres of grapevines and opened Boskydel Vineyard, Leelanau’s first tasting room.
  • Today, Leelanau Peninsula is home to 26 wineries.
  • There are 680 acres of wine grapes growing along the peninsula, which is 25 percent of the state’s total.
  • Leelanau Peninsula’s 45th Parallel is the same parallel as the renowned Bordeaux and Cotes du Rhone regions of France and the Piedmont region of Italy.
  • Grapes and other fruit to thrive here due to the unique “lake effect” that buffers the climate by keeping vines cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  • Leelanau produces cool climate wines which are typically clean, crisp and balanced, exhibiting real varietal character.
  • Three types of grapes are used for wine on Leelanau Peninsula: European Vinifera, French-American hybrids and native varieties.
  • Leelanau is one of the few wine regions that produces ice wine, a high-end dessert wine produced from grapes that have been significantly frozen while still on the vine.