This tale of how Glen Arbor Wines' Farmstead Red came to be named will have you packing up a German-inspired picnic: a good hard sausage from (Bunting's in Cedar) German Mustard, a wedge of Emmental cheese (The Cheese Lady, Traverse City) and a loaf of pumpernickel bread (Bay Bread, Traverse City). Read on and we'll tell you where to spread your picnic. Hint: It's a perfect bike trip.
When you live within sight of Lake Michigan's Sleeping Bear Bay in Glen Arbor, life seems simple. Beautiful. Relaxing. Especially on a July morning when refracting light makes the Manitou Islands look close enough to touch and the water a shade of blue that is somewhere between Caribbean and Mediterranean. The walk down South Lake Street to the public access/boat launch is a sensual bouquet of warm juniper oozing the piney scent of gin, the faint smell of fish in the breeze, whiffs of gasoline from a boat that has just pulled away from the ramp.
That is why, a very busy two weeks after I opened my new business, Glen Arbor Wines, I made time to paddle board out on Sleeping Bear Bay before I opened at noon. I live above my tasting room on South Lake Street, so I'd just just come down to check on a few things before I left, when I looked up to see an entire family—from grandparents down to grandchild peering in the window.