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The Incredible Expanding Mackinaw Trail Winery

Brewvine: Helping a Great Cause with a Glass of Wine and Beer at Mackinaw Trail Winery
A Yooper-born winery, a rebel son, and only-in-this-place grapes, this family business has rewritten the rules on what and where wineries can be.
By Ross Boissoneau | Sept. 21, 2019

Some might have said Ralph Stabile didnt understand some basic scientific/agronomic facts like the fact that wine grapes wouldnt grow as far north as Petoskey, much less the Upper Peninsula. But that didnt stop him. Because sometimes facts are facts, and sometimes as in the case of scientists proving that bumblebees cant fly theyre just old wives tales.

AN UNLIKELY WINEMAKERDespite the rapid growth of his familys business, making wine or beer, or cider, or sparkling wines, for that matter was not Dustin Stabiles original game plan. In fact, while his parents were building their Mackinaw Trail Winery business, he was majoring in criminal justice at Michigan State University. A call home, however, forever altered his career path.

I called my parents asking for some money I was broke and my dad said no, Dustin Stabile said.

He said its also a boon because some tasting room guests just arent wine drinkers, and they would stand around while the rest of their party happily sampled wine. Now we have something for everyone that walks in our door.

GRIN & BEER ITRalph Stabile admits Mackinaw Trails beer sideline isnt a huge moneymaker, but he said its worthwhile especially in terms of providing something for everyone.

Resort Pike Cidery & Winery New Wine Release Party

  • Excluded from Discounts Our Experimental Beer Dinner is back and better than ever! Join us on March 19th at 6pm to sample beers, hand crafted by our Head of Production, Dustin! He has formulated 5 new experimental brews that will be paired with small plates of food!The tasting will begin at 6pm here at Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery. Tickets are $50 per person. As a special off to our Mackinaw Trail Winery Wine Club Members, tickets are 25% off! Tickets include admission, beer samples, food pairings and access to be the first people to purchase our new beers! Seats are limited so get your tickets to reserve yours today!$50.00
  • Excluded from Discounts Join us for our Vertical Wine Tasting event here at Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery!What is a vertical wine tasting you ask? A vertical tasting is a wine tasting that provides an excellent opportunity to sample and compare the difference between various vintages of one wine made by a winery! The tasting will be held at Mackinaw Trail Winery & Brewery on February 25th starting at 6pm. Tickets are $40 per person. As a special offer to our Mackinaw Trail Winery Wine Club Members, tickets will be 25% off! Along with the wine tasting, charcuterie boards will be provided. Some of these wines have been sold out for years, and this will be your one opportunity to taste these amazing wines and even be able to take your own bottles home!$40.00
  • Brewvine: Ice Wine At Mackinaw Trail Winery

    Mackinaw Trail Winery in Petoskey just bottled a very special wine.

    For this weeks Brewvine, Whitney Amann and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson show you what makes this wintry wine so special and how to make sure you can get a bottle.

    In years past when we release ice wine, people buy it up like crazy, said head of production Dustin Stabile. We went five years without making ice wine so when it is available, people kind of want to get their hands on their share of it.

    This is only the third time in the past eight years Mackinaw Trail has produced an ice wine because the conditions need to be just right.

    The last time they had ice wine was in 2018 and they only ended up with 50 bottles.

    But the dry fall and 17 degree temperatures we had on Christmas Eve, gave Mackinaw Trail the perfect conditions to harvest the frigid fruit.

    This year we did 125 cases so were really excited that we should have enough to where well get it into a lot more peoples hands, he said.

    The longer time on the vine and the frozen water concentrates the sugars in the fruit and gives the wine its unique flavor.

    You can get a sneak peek at Mackinaw Trails newest products by joining their wine club.

    As a special treat for their members, their April wine club shipment will include a bottle of tasty ice wine.

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    Read Also: What Kind Of Wine Is Stella Rosa

    Bearing More Fruit: Winery’s Hard Cider On Growth Trend

    PETOSKEY As it works to expand its building and production capacity, a Petoskey winery is eyeing growth potential in the hard cider market.

    Mackinaw Trail Winery is constructing a 2,500-square foot addition on the south end of its four-year-old building along U.S. 131 South. Owner Ralph Stabile said the new area will provide storage for finished beverages, and free up existing building space to add six new, 3,200-gallon tanks for fermentation. The expansion efforts, expected to wrap up this fall, will more than double the winerys raw production capacity in gallons.

    Our cider production is the main issue for the expansion, Stabile said.

    The companys cider output has grown since it started production about three years ago. Its expected to reach 10,000 gallons of apple-based cider this year, along with 5,000 more of the peach variety, and Stabile sees opportunity to expand significantly on the total in the years ahead.

    A modest alcohol content, which some drinkers embrace, is one reason Stabile sees potential for the cider categorys appeal to increase.

    Cider seems to be more of an acceptable option to carry around in a can, he added.

    Mackinaw Trails cider lineup includes three varieties: a traditional apple, a cranberry-apple and a peach offering, and it plans to soon add green apple to the assortment. The company relies on three Northern Michigan growers for fruit sourcing.

    Itll actually improve our quality during our fermentation, Stabile said.

    Where To Buy


    Find Marcias Munchies at one of these grocery and specialty stores.

    Ann Arbor

    • 31201 Southfield Rd


    Bloomfield Hills


    • Kroger 9968 E Grand River Ave



    • Foods for Living 2750 2655 Grand River
    • Fresh Thyme East Lansing 940 Trowbridge Road
    • Kroger 1550 W Lake Lansing Road
    • Whole Foods Market 2758 East Grand River Avenue

    Farmington Hills


    • Feast Gourmet Kitchen Shop 495 Fenway Drive



    Glen Arbor

    • Cavinaughs at The Homestead 1 Wood Ridge Road

    Grand Blanc

    • Kroger 12731 S Saginaw Street

    Grand Rapids

    Harrison Township

    • Booze Barn 1007 3813 Tractor Drive


    • Sweetfern Cafe & Empotium 7595 W 5 Mile Rd




    • Tribune Ice Cream & Eatery 110 E Nagonaba Street


    • Fresh Thyme 15480 Sheldon Road

    Oakland Township


    • Mackinaw Trail Winery 3423 US Hwy 131
    • Petoskey Cheese 437 E. Mitchell, Petoskey
    • Symons General Store & Wine Cellar 401 East Lake Street
    • Plaths Meats 2200 E. Mitchell Road


    Port Huron

    Also Check: Best Temperature For Wine Fridge

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