The quaint town of St. Joseph, Michigan, is part of the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country, a rustic and laid-back region complete with vine-covered rolling hills, towering beachfront dunes and, of course, 15 area wineries and cellars. Explore the bustling wine country and sample its various concoctions safely by leaving the driving to an area tour guide or company.
Fruitful Vine Tours offers excursions throughout St. Joseph’s wine region. Tours begin with pickups at area hotels and restaurants and include souvenir wine glasses and wine-tasting sessions at Lemon Creek Winery, Domaine Berrien Cellars, Round Barn Winery and Gravity Winery. The company’s Wine-O-Wagon tours take place from April through November in an open-air vehicle with cushioned seats and a shaded roof. Vino Coach tours take place year-round in an enclosed, air-conditioned shuttle bus. Both tours accommodate up to 14 passengers, include narration on grape growing and wine making and often allow extra time for exploring wine cellars and shopping. Make sure you bring extra money for dining as the tours include a lunch stop.
Some Beer with Your Wine
Grape and Grain hosts tours of wineries, breweries and distilleries in the southwest Michigan region, including excursions that originate from St. Joseph. On Saturdays and Sundays, a 14-person shuttle bus or an 11-person passenger vans picks up travelers from a designated St. Joseph hotel before setting out to visit Twelve Corners Winery, Tapistry Brewery, Free Run Cellars and the Round Barn Winery. The tour lasts approximately six hours and tasting fees are included in the charge. You can speak to Grape and Grain about alternative pickup spots although additional fees may apply. The company also offers customized tours any day of the week.
Old-Fashioned Hay Ride
Hayride Winery Tours provides afternoon excursions upon a tractor-drawn hay wagon over the hills and through the lush countryside of southwest Michigan. Participants enjoy stops at three area wineries: Hickory Creek Winery, Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant and Round Barn Winery. Wine-tasting fees are not included in the cost of the tour and prices are based on groups, not individuals. Each tour is privately chartered and the wagon seats approximately 10 to 12 adults. Remember to dress accordingly for rain, heat or cold, depending on the season.
Based at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, 45 minutes east of St. Joseph, Leisure Limos provides luxury transportation. The Southwest Michigan Winery Trail Shuttle is a chartered tour that begins with pickups from various New Buffalo area hotels, most of which are just 30 minutes from St. Joseph. The tour starts in the early afternoon and lasts approximately six hours, complete with stops at Founders, Lemon Creek, Gravity and Round Barn wineries. The excursion does not include meals so consider bringing a lunch. Also keep in mind, your cost does not include wine-tasting fees. Drinking is allowed on board and rates are based per person.
References and ResourcesFruitful Vine Tours
Grape and Grain
Hayride Winery Tours
2014 Lake Michigan Shore Wine Country Brochure