Friday, March 1, 2024

Vino Venues

By Dianna Stampfler

Michigan is home to nearly 150 wineries, many with private events spaces set against backdrops of picturesque vineyards and wide-open rural countryside scenes. While weddings are among the primary celebrations hosted, many also offer venues ideal for business and corporate receptions or events.

St. Julian Winery
St. Julian Winery was founded by Mariano Meconi in Windsor, Canada, in 1921. Moving to Michigan (first Detroit, then Paw Paw) after the repeal of prohibition, the winery operated under several names before its current incarnation named for the patron saint of Meconi’s Italian hometown, Faleria. The 1,560-square-foot, four-season Apollo room, named for Meconi’s son-in-law, grandson, and great-grandson, can accommodate up to 68 for seated or 100 for standing events. With a rustic brick wall, a gas fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows facing south, the space feels open, yet intimate. Menus can be created by working with one of three approved caterers, while St. Julian provides all of the beverage options including wine, cider, sparkling juices and even distilled spirits. Groups can choose between a standard bar or set up a wine tasting flight from a pre-selected menu, with each guest invited to keep the souvenir tasting glass. Complimentary guided tours of the winery, distillery and cellar spaces can be arranged for any group function, giving guests an educational experience.

Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery
Sitting on a rolling 30 acres, Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery just south of Petoskey offers a 40-foot by 80-foot pavilion complete with a catering prep room, fireplace, restrooms and ample parking. Located in the heart of Michigan’s newest wine area—the Petoskey Wine Region—visitors will also find options for visiting other nearby venues and lodging packages at a variety of regional hotels and resorts.

Youngblood Vineyard
Who doesn’t want to combine “tiny goat yoga” with their special event? Youngblood Vineyard in the town of Ray offers just such an experience for their guests. This expansive 25-acre property features plenty of open space for vineyard dining and tours, wine and barrel tastings and more. With 23,000 vines (a marathon’s length of 26.2 miles), the winery produces 100 percent estate grown wines—meaning all the grapes for the wine come from their own property.

Brengman Brothers Winery
Just five miles outside of Traverse City on the Leelanau Peninsula sits Brengman Brothers Winery. The rustic, yet modern tasting room boasts a massive floor-toceiling stone fireplace, hardwood ceiling beams, candlelit chandeliers and a bar to serve Brengman’s award-winning wines for up to 98 guests in a reception-style event. For larger, seated events, an outdoor tented area is offered for up to 200 guests, which affords stunning views in a romantic, vineyard setting. Cellar tours and tastings are also available.