Michigan Uncorked is a regular column by Lorri Hathaway and Sharon Kegerreis, writers who are passionate for Michigan and authors of award-winning From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries. Learn all about Lorri & Sharon and their book at www.michiganvine.com.
Breakfast is at 8:30 a.m. sharp! Don’t snooze because if you do, you lose out on blueberry Malbec jam on raisin toast, fresh fruits and hot meat and egg cuisine.
Bob Begin, founder of Chateau Chantal with wife Nadine, cheerfully greets you and offers to fill your champagne flute with fresh-squeezed orange juice. A cup of local java from Great Northern Roasting Company warms your morning and ignites your fun-filled day on the peninsula. Immediately following breakfast at 9:30, Bob takes you on a tour, sharing his insight along the way into the daily workings of the winery and inn.
Chateau Chantal is a beacon for summer and fall travelers seeking stunning lake and vineyard views and lush grapevines on one of Michigan’s most beautiful vistas. Located in northern Michigan on Old Mission Peninsula, Chateau Chantal is also a destination worth visiting in the off season. Bed and breakfast rooms, like the spacious two-bedroom executive apartment with two balconies and full kitchen, are a little bit easier to reserve for an impromptu weekend getaway. The tasting room bar offers plenty of elbow room in the off season, too, giving you time to relax and savor each wine taste.
Staying at the chateau offers another adventure: you’re invited to step behind the bar after hours for self-serve wine tasting. On our recent overnight stay at Chateau Chantal, we ran into Mick and Dana of West Bloomfield sampling the wines.
Mick surprised Dana with the romantic getaway to Old Mission Peninsula, a new destination for them. They spent their morning flying a kite in the vineyard, followed up with a leisurely day touring Old Mission tasting rooms. Six distinct experiences are located within a seven-mile stretch along the beautiful peninsula drive.
You’ll also find delicious destinations at the Boathouse Restaurant, Old Mission Tavern and Bowers Harbor Inn, three restaurants we can personally recommend.
Chef Eric at the Boathouse Restaurant on the shores of Bowers Harbor prepares perfectly seasoned Kobe filet mignon and seafood. North of Chateau Chantal is Old Mission Tavern, a former garage that was converted to a dairy freeze before being developed as a fine dining experience. A connected gallery, Bella Galleria, showcases bright, one-of-a-kind artwork from Michigan artists. Award-winning Bowers Harbor Inn sits on an historic site along West Grand Traverse Bay serving delightful dishes by Chef Paul. As seen on Unsolved Mysteries, the Inn is also known for being home to the legendary ghost of Genevive. All three restaurants offer outstanding service and delicious fare.
Snow-filled vineyards that surround the hilltop of Chateau Chantal provide ample trekking for snowshoe and cross-country enthusiasts. Those who prefer a more leisurely day can sign up for a cooking class or wine immersion seminar, when available, or while away an afternoon at the Grand Piano.