Summer on the Great Lakes | Sailing, Wine Tour & Delicious Food in Michigan


You’re watching Vagabrothers, and we’re drinking wine in Michigan. Oh, easy my arm. You’re literally eating my arm. Good morning ladies and gentlemen. It’s a beautiful day here in Traverse City, Michigan. It’s our second day exploring the city out here with Traverse City Tourism, and we have a pretty awesome day lined up. First things first, we’re grabbing a coffee at a place called Morsels. We’re going to get some food, and then we’re boarding a ship. So make sure you guys stick around, ooh Perfect timing. Perfect timing. You ready to get the avocado toast? For me. So basic. Enjoy, guys. Going to be sailing on a tall mast ship . These are ships that used to ply the Great Lakes region in the 1800s. This was a major, major thoroughfare for shipping, and we’re going to go get a taste of that maritime heritage, and then later in the day enjoy some good food, some wine, and some cider. Beginning of a new adventure. Smell of fresh water. Your nostrils… they say 20 years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you do. So cast off the bowlines sail, safe harbor. Get the trade winds in your sails and kill the Liger Shark. I was quoting Mark Twain. It’s all good. Point is: I love sailing. This is fun and tall mast ships are awesome. In the early days, shipping was a really important way of moving people and goods. Here in Traverse City, it was a big lumber community, so they were taking a lot of the hardwood here and using it to build cities around North America. Manitou Passage right here is one of the main waterways. It’s a huge shortcut, but it’s really dangerous. The weather on this lake can change really quickly because of strong winds and strong currents. There’re tons of shipwrecks off the shore. But these bays right here are actually really protective, and to this day Traverse City is a safe harbor for massive cargo ships to come here during storms. We have sailed safety back to shore. It’s time to hop off the boat and go check out a big surprise for me, personally, in this region….vineyards. All right next stop is Black Star Farms. We’re on the Leland Peninsula, and this is one of the northernmost wine growing regions in the country. It’s the 45th parallel, which also passes through Bordeaux and Northern Italy. We’re going to go see what they’re growing here at Black Star Farms. We just got the Black Star Farms. It’s a local winery here in the Leland Peninsula. This is Chris. He is going to be showing us around and explaining a bit more about making wine up here and drinking wine. And drinking wine up here. Most important part. When people think of Michigan, they don’t necessarily think of wine and grapes . How long has wine been cultivated up here? Actually, Michigan originally was one of the biggest wine producing states in the country before Prohibition. Really? Prohibition shut down most of that, and it wasn’t until about 30 years ago Bernie Boskadell started..opened a winery up here. And that was kind of the start of it, and it’s just exploded in the last 30 years. 2015 Arturos Pinot Gris. I feel like… I’m just going to throw this out there, but to become a winemaker, you do need to have an element of like mad scientist because everything that you’re doing is experimentation. You’re taking different ingredients; you’re fermenting them for different periods of time; you’re blending them especially when you get into these complex wines where you have multiple grapes and percentages. What’s the inspiration for creating things like this? It’s fun. If we all made the same thing all the time, it’s just boring. All right ladies and gentlemen, so we’ve hopped into the car, and now we are driving up to the town of Old Mission and a lighthouse that’s basically at the northernmost point of this little peninsula, at the bottom of which is Traverse City, but it’s beautiful. We’re going past all these little lake houses and these cottages just built right along the shoreline. There’re sailboats; there’re vineyards; there’re orchards, and it’s just really, really nice. We’re at the Old Mission Lighthouse. As you might know there’re some really treacherous waters. Lake Michigan is one of the most dangerous lakes in the Great Lakes. There are crazy currents here. The lighthouse were important for safety, but we’re right on the 45th parallel, which is halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, so it’s really nice climbing. But this really reminds me of.. I don’t know if any of you are Ernest Hemingway fans, but he used to summer in Lake Michigan just not far up the coast from here. He wrote all those Nick Adams stories about basically canoeing on this lake, and it really makes me think about that. It’s a beautiful part of the world. And so far, we’ve discovered some really awesome things. Ladies and gentlemen, we have just arrived to the beautiful historic town of Leland. This is called Fishtown, and you should be able to gather why it’s called that. The village still harbors a commercial fishing fleet. But before the advent of gas-powered boats, it was mostly sailboats and line fishing and you can see a lot of that heritage reflected in the buildings and the boats in the harbor. It’s also super beautiful. It’s right on this river, this little waterfall. Kind of feels like a little elven village. It does. I kind of got vibes from the opening scene of Hook when Robin Williams wakes up back in Never-Never Land, and he has to pretend to be a pirate. I didn’t have to” yarr” at anybody, but maybe I will have to. Yarr……Why not? Why not? This is a curious sort of drink here. It’s a Bloody Mary with horseradish infused vodka, and this guy, a Chubby, which is a type of smoked fish from the whitefish family. Does come with a baby beer, for some reason and some pita chips to open up this fish and eat it on crackers. Well, it’s been an awesome trip up here to Traverse City exploring the region. I’ve never been to the Great Lakes and had a super fun time here on Lake Michigan discovering all the region has offer. So many surprises. Definitely was not expecting wine country, great craft beer, great food. Super fun paddling around. I think we need to come back next summer and find out what else Michigan has to offer. So, if you enjoyed this video, you know what to do: give it a big thumbs- up, share with your friends, subscribe and turn on notifications, if you have not already. Once again big thanks to Traverse City Tourism for bringing us out here. If you want more information about the destination, check it out There’s a website in the info box. So the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Peace.

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