Lake Michigan Shore (AVA)
  Sign In
Subscribe to our newsletter
Bookmark and Share  

Ninety per cent of Michigan’s vineyards fall within this appellation in the state’s southwestern corner. This area is also the historic cradle of Michigan viticulture with commercial vineyards dating back as far as 1867. Since the region is part of the great Fruit Belt that produces most of America’s grapes for juice and jelly production, most of the area’s vineyards are planted to labrusca varieties like Concord and Niagara. Thus, the Lake Michigan Shore AVA wine grape acreage only amounts to a small percentage of its total, even though this acreage still represents nearly half of Michigan’s total wine grape production. Of the wine grapes now planted, vinifera varieties are a rapidly expanding portion of the portfolio. The broad AVA boundaries - which include the smaller Fennville appellation - extend as far as 45 miles inland from the lakeshore, and are relatively uniform in climate and soils. The so called "Lake Effect" of Lake Michigan tempers the otherwise extreme northern climate. The characteristic soil and topography of the AVA results from a glacial moraine, with its slopes giving vineyards increased air-drainage to the lake, reducing the danger of frost settling on vines. This AVA has a warmer growing season, up to two or three weeks longer than northwestern Michigan.

Current Feature

In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.  [>] continue

Appellation Features

[>] see all Lake Michigan Shore features (5)

Related Features


Best of Appellation

See the best wines of Lake Michigan Shore

See the best wines of
Lake Michigan Shore

Alive & Well here

Cabernet Franc:
Although rarely the center of attention, Cabernet Franc, your congenial nature makes you a pleasure
  [>] continue


Eleanor & Ray Heald
are the Regional Correspondents for Lake Michigan Shore.


Quick Finds

Appellation Honor Role

Search the Lake Michigan Shore Wine List

select wine style:
select grape:


    Help us improve travel information to your favorite region...

Winery Sponsors

Winery sponsors of Appellation America’s coverage of the Lake Michigan Shore appellation.