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Photograph: Courtesy Stone Hill Winery

13 scenic Midwest wineries worth a getaway

Plan your next vacation around pours of rosé and cabernet at these remarkable Midwest wineries

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen
Written by
Adam Lukach
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When considering a vineyard voyage, the Midwest probably doesn’t come to mind right away, and that makes sense. But whether you prefer a luscious red, light wine or something a little sweeter, the best wineries in the Midwest are pouring glasses that might surprise you. Not to mention, the middle of the country provides serene settings for the vineyards, many perched on sprawling estates with charm for miles. From tours to tastings to even some overnight stays, these Midwestern wineries have something for wine drinkers of all varieties.

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Best Midwest wineries

Before founding this jaw-dropping winery, couple Robert and Nadine were a priest and a nun, respectively. They both sought new careers before they wound up meeting each other, getting hitched and building a European-style winery in Traverse City. Today, the property spans 65 acres and includes a bed and breakfast with 12 beautifully appointed suites. If you're not staying the night, opt for the Caddy Flight, with three pours served on the spacious East Patio or West Terrace, with sweeping views of the immaculate property.

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The elegant feel of Stone Hill Winery transports guests to a countryside estate somewhere in Europe. Tours run approximately every 90 minutes, but the talented crew here can always turn up the frequency to accommodate additional traffic. Unfortunately, due to safety precautions, the Grapes to Glass VIP winery tour—which offers a behind-the-scenes look of the vineyard, presshouse and cellars—is suspended for now. On the other hand, there’s still plenty of space outside to sip a glass alfresco before leaving the property.

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This sleek Michigan winery is situated on 58 acres of land, more than 23 of which are devoted to grapes. The makers at 2 Lads specialize in cool-climate red and sparkling wines as well as several whites. The spacious and modern tasting room is the perfect backdrop to savor the fruits of their labor. Sip and swirl from a trio of different 2020 rieslings before dabbling in the 2019 pinot noir or treating yourself to a 2015 sparkling rosé reserve.

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Get a room! This Kentucky-homaging estate doubles as a massive winery and a bespoke 10-room inn, where guests are treated to house wine, gourmet breakfast and evening happy hour. Beyond the main attraction (reds, whites and everything in between), Black Star Farms is surrounded by 3 miles of hiking trails, paved biking paths that lead to other wineries and plenty of nearby beaches.

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Wakeman, OH: Vermilion Valley
Photograph: Courtesy Vermilion Valley Vineyards

5. Wakeman, OH: Vermilion Valley

Set against the big sky of a rural Ohio estate, you’ll find Vermilion Valley’s tasting room—a striking rustic barn perched on a sprawling green lawn. The winery is one of the state’s only 100 percent sustainable winemakers, which means you’ll be rewarded with an intriguing selection of natural wines, their calling card, on the menu as well. Try the classic dry red pet-nat or a fresh-nosed pinot noir rosé. Guests can also enjoy the rolling hills on outdoor picnic tables.

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The tagline at this small Indiana winery reads "Small Batch and Handcrafted," which is more of a mission statement than an operational standard. Alan Lockhart started making wine back in 2006 with no real intention of ever opening a winery, but when the ameateur winemaker started entering competitions, the awards rolled in. It would take another seven years to create the winery of his dreams, complete with a tasting room and a patio made for sipping Le Crescent varietals and Chateau Reserve, a full-bodied red blend aged in bourbon barrels.

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Wisconsin's oldest licensed winery boasts over 40 wines to taste in its Civil War-era building and dreamy outdoor terrace that’s usually vibing with live music on Saturday evenings during the summer schedule. The vineyard is located 6 miles north in Door County, where three French-hybrid grape varieties deliver fruity, semi-sweet rosé and dry, citrus-packed pinot grigio. Don't leave without trying von Stiehl's Cherry Bounce, a sweet blend of cherry brandy and cherry wine that smacks of Door County's favorite fruit.

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If you've got winos and beer nerds in your group, this is the place to go. Husband-and-wife team Aaron and Ashley Schram opened this brewery-winery combo pack back in 2013, and they've been pouring boozy beverages ever since. With 5 acres of outdoor seating in addition to an indoor tasting room, Schram deals in tastings and tours. Sip gewürztraminer, chardonnay and sparkling rosé before diving into a beer flight with styles that range from American blonde ale to Minnesota IPA.

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9. Swisher, IA: Cedar Ridge

This Iowa winery doubles as a distillery, and you can gaze upon row after row of corn and grapes while you’re enjoying the fruits of the fields. Cedar Ridge’s massive farm puts guests in the thick of the process and the product, with multiple seating areas across the estate including an event center, tasting room, vineyard room and outdoor seating options on the lawn or a sprawling patio.

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Like its name suggests, this winery belongs to a couple and their four daughters who work together to produce and sell vino—talk about a family business! The expansive estate houses a 6-acre vineyard, a decidedly modern tasting room and plenty of outdoor space with a sprawling patio. When you tire of Four Daughters's wine (impossible, really), switch to their Loon Juice hard cider or—depending on the season—a pour of bourbon, crafted from the corn that grows in the fields that surround the vineyard.

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One look at the lush garden that encompasses this Indiana winery, and you'll probably ask if you can move in. Do the next best thing and book an alfresco picnic in advance so that you can sip wine and nosh on charcuterie in the serene outdoor space. Pop a bottle of sauvignon blanc, pink moscato or orange blossom-scented mead; by the end of the day, you'll probably join the winery's club to keep the party rolling all year.

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It's all about the bubbly stuff at this vineyard situated on the Leelanau Peninsula, which is dotted with plenty of other wineries if you're looking to explore. The area's cooler growing season promises wines rich with acidity, and MAWBY's pours range from a ripe brute rosé and a semi-dry sparkling cider to a floral cuvée. But no trip is complete without a glass of Sex, a rosé sparkling wine that's bursting with ripe, red fruit aromas and a smooth, rounded finish.

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Located less than 30 miles from Chicago, Lynfred is equipped with a four-suite bed and breakfast, so you don't have to go far when you've had your fill of vino. The remarkable property has indoor and outdoor space, where guests can taste their way through the storied winery's portfolio—from merlot and syrah to viognier and chenin blanc. Psst! In addition to wine, Lynfred also bakes and sells loaves of bread (like red cheddar and garlic) that go fast—snag yours Friday through Sunday.

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