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Indulge in Michigan's Finest Wines on the Shores of Grand Traverse Bay

Also known as the Cherry Capital of the World, Traverse City is an activity packed Michigan destination that’s perfect for your next summer getaway. The city is in proximity to more than 100 lakes and 100 miles of coastline, making it one of the top locations for water sports in the Midwest. Whether you're catching the newest exhibit at the Dennos Museum Center or climbing the white sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Traverse City is ready for you.


The Traverse City Wine & Cider Festival has showcased Michigan's finest wines for nearly a decade, and will take place June 24 at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. The event will feature more than 100 wines from over 20 wineries and a selection of the state’s top ciders. Many of the producers will be on-hand answering questions and helping people pair foods with their wines and ciders. Attendees will also encounter a spectrum of food options to pair with the wines including culinary creations by local chefs, cheeses, chocolate, and snacks from food trucks. Oh Brother Big Sister, Carsie Blanton, G-Snacks, E Minor will perform live, representing genres from folk to rock music. We got the chance to interview Dylan Davis, Event Coordinator, to learn more about this showcase of wine and cider.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

DD: We are excited to have a slightly larger focus on cider this year, as it has been such a fast-growing product for local wineries.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

DD: This will be the 9th Annual Traverse City Wine & Cider Festival, formally Traverse City Wine & Art Festival.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

DD: It has ranged between 1,500-6,000 attendees depending on the musical lineup. The last few years we have had 1,500-3,000 people as we have focused more on the great local wine, versus the music.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

DD: We have a wide variety of attendees who want to enjoy a fun Saturday with wine and music. All attendees must be at least 21 years old.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

DD: It is held on the historic front lawn at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.  It is a beautiful property with historical significance.


RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.

DD: The event opens at 3:00 pm, and we end music at 9:00 pm. We have four live bands, approximately 20 wine booths where you can sample and speak with winery/cidery representatives, food pairings, cheese and chocolate sampling, and more.


RAL: What is the overall atmosphere like?

DD: The event is held on the beautiful grassy front lawn at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. It’s a relaxed environment where people bring chairs and enjoy the day with friends listening to music and exploring great wine.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

DD: We have a variety of local lodging options, but unfortunately lodging in Traverse City in the summer can be difficult as hotels book up quite quickly.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?  

DD: Wine tourism is huge in Traverse City, and this event showcases many of the best wineries in the state. Yes, many of the attendees are from out of the area and travel for this event.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

DD: We hold the event to support and promote the great Michigan wine industry.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

DD: If people want to enjoy a beautiful spot in Traverse City and explore the wine we produce in Traverse City, there is no better way.


For more information about the Traverse City Wine & Cider Festival, please visit the event website.