This wasn't much of a road trip really, as Tabor Hill Winery is just a few miles from St. Joseph in nearby Buchanan, Michigan. But it was a quick trip to a terrific winery!
D, DJ, and I visited Tabor Hill last Saturday. On a tip from the book, From the Vine: Exploring Michigan Wineries, we made dinner reservations in advance (5pm). When we got there and saw what a popular place this was we were glad we did.
The drive from our condo took about 25 minutes on single lane roads through farm country, mostly corn fields and vineyards. When we arrived at the vineyard, about 4:10pm, the parking lot was packed. We managed to get a spot as someone was pulling out.
The setting is very pretty with mature trees and rolling hills of grape vines visible from the parking lot.
We wanted to take the winery tour before dinner and the tours start on the half hour. So we went inside first to check out the gift shop.
We finished looking around inside just before 4:30 and then headed back outside to the place where the tours begin. Evan was our tour guide. He was knowledgeable, humorous, and encouraged questions. :-) The tour started right on time.
The tour began outside where the grapes are first processed.
Then we moved inside to see the vats where the wine is aged.
And on to the bottling room.
Then we went outside and returned to the basement of the main building where we looked at the trophy display and the uniquely carved oak barrel heads.
The tour finished up right at 5:00pm so we then we made our way upstairs for dinner. We checked in with the receptionist and were seated immediately.
We passed by the Grape Escape on the way to our seats.
The room we sat in had a lovely view of the vineyards. In fact, we were surrounded by them.
Our waiter was attentive and brought our menus right away. There were so many delicious sounding menu items it was very difficult for us to make our decisions. But we finally did! D and DJ had the Tempura Prawns (with Chardonnay) ...
And I had the Raspberry Pecan Chicken with Sweet Potato Succotash (and a Rose)...
What can I say? The food was fabulous! I brought half of mine home because I didn't want to pass up dessert. For dessert, DJ had orange cheesecake, D had a bowl full of fresh berries with whipped cream, and I had a brownie cheesecake.
Everyone enjoyed their desserts as much as their entrees. It was a terrific meal, no doubt about it. We also ordered a some truffles from the candy case in the gift shop. They were wonderful too but at $2.25 a piece we probably won't be ordering them again any time soon.
On our way out we stopped in at the wine tasting bar and sampled several varieties of Tabor Hill's wines. I can't say which was our favorite, we liked all the ones we tasted. We brought 6 bottles home with us (2 of the Demi Sec, their most popular wine).
Just before we got in the car to return home we went into the vineyard to grab a quick pic of their grapes. When all is said and done, at a winery, it's all about the grapes.
Would we go there again? Ohhh yes! I look forward to returning during harvest time. I can't wait to smell the scent of the grapes being processed. I expect we'll have finished all our bottles of Tabor Hill wine by then so it will be time to restock ;-)
Tabor Hill Winery is located at 185 Mount Tabor Road
Buchanan, Michigan USA 49107
(800) 283 - 3363