There is something special about the beginning of fall in western Michigan. The leaves begin to change to warmer colors, the air is crisper and the wine is fresh off the vine. On this beautiful Sunday, David and I slept in. We were at the Notre Dame vs. Michigan State game the night before and got home around 1 am so we were exhausted. We made brunch and somehow decided to celebrate a Sunday Funday.The weather was perfect and so we thought we would go some place David had never been before – Saugatuck.
We drove up to Fenn Valley Vineyards and had a little wine tasting. It was fabulous! There was a tour you could sign up for that took you through the entire vineyard or you could relax in the tasting room. Our tasting took about 30 minutes and we each tried 7 different wines. You are given 2 free glasses for stopping by and can purchase the other 5 for $5. They had so many choices to choose from and the staff was very helpful.
Our favorite wine of the day was the Pinot Grigio. There were also tables to sit at outside and on the patio. You are able to purchase a bottle in the wine shop and have the option of enjoying it on the grounds. If we were thinking, we would have packed a small snack and had a picnic.
After exploring the vineyard, we ventured over to Saugatuck which was only a 10-15 minute drive. We grabbed lunch at Grow, a new-ish, hipster, farm-to-table diner downtown. They have indoor and outdoor seating and focus on using fresh and local products for their plates. They had just opened in April and switch up their menu based on the foods in season. It was delicous. David ordered the egg sandwich which came with potatoes, sausage and guac. While I ordered “The Mitten” Salad which had a homemade vinaigrette dressing and goat cheese. We also ordered the homemade Chorizo bites. It was honestly the best food I had had in awhile. It came out hot and fresh and everything had its own flavor. The variation of spices and herbs made each plate special.
Once we had stuffed ourselves, we walked around downtown. Since it was Sunday, there were several shops which were closed but most of the boutiques, candy, wine and specialty stores were open until 6 pm. We stopped into the Olive Cart and tried different flavors of olive oils and balsamics. We also stopped into American Spoon and the Fenn Valley Tasting Room. American Spoon has my favorite canned Pumpkin Seed Salsa and Pumpkin Butter. At the tasting room, we tried the spiced peach, currant and cranberry wines that were not available at the vineyard.
David grabbed a coffee at Uncommon Grounds which was different because they had their cold brews on tap! We got to sample each coffee and they also had a variety of smoothies and teas. After window shopping, we each bought some goodies from the Spice Merchants and then decided it was time to head to the Saugatuck Dunes State Park.
The park had several different trails to choose from and beach access. We spent about an hour hiking through the woods and saw a doe and her baby fawn. We also walked along the beach. It was a beautiful way to end the evening and David and I decided we needed to make Sunday Funday a weekend tradition.
Luckily, western Michigan has so much to offer and peak vineyard season is right around the corner. With that being said, I will have a Michigan Wine Trail post coming your way soon!