Tuesday, August 7, 2018

2018 Summer RV Trip – Days 14 & 15 – Cider & Wine Tasting & Boone’s

For our next to last day in the Suttons Bay, we decided it was time to hit the wine/cider trail and sample some of the local offerings before the weekenders poured into the area.  This area is a major grower of cherries and apples, as well as some grapes.  We began at Tandem Ciders about 10 minutes from the campground and drove past many apple orchards on the way there.

They had a nice tasting room with two nice young ladies doing the pouring at $1.50 for a 3oz sample- we tried eight and the ones in this area are very different from those we’ve tried other places in that most are very dry.  We began with the driest and worked our way to sweeter where I found the ones I preferred although they were not really sweet.  I guess it’s like wine where you start out with a sweet white and work your way to dry red.

We ended up having our growler filled with Smackintosh which has 4% residual sugar and 4.5% alcohol.

From there we drove south of town to Suttons Bay Ciders which is situated on a hill overlooking the bay with large windows and a deck.

Their ciders were different in that they offered several that were infused with some other flavors such as ginger, berries, hops, and jalapenos.  This is the tasting bar and pouring station.

We ended up getting our other growler filled with Saskatoon which contained anti-oxidant yielding berries.  The girls insisted on this healthy one, but I was asking if they had one with an aphrodisiac - no such luck.  Both places charged about $17 to fill our jug.

After the tastings, we stopped at the nearby Leelanau Cheese where they make one type of cow's milk cheese known as Raclette Alpine Style in both young and aged versions.  Raclette is a semi-hard cow's milk cheese that is usually fashioned into a wheel and it is most commonly used for melting. It is also a Swiss dish based on heating the cheese and scraping off the melted part - we’ll have to give that a try.  We liked it and bought a 1/2 lb. of the young and a cherry flavored spread.

From the cheese place, we headed back to town for a late lunch at Boone’s Prime Time Pub where they are known for their Bloody Mary (webshot) that comes with onion rings, a chicken slider, a burger slider, fried pickles, celery, lemon and lime for those who want a complete meal.

We started with their very good clam chowder and onion rings as shared appetizers.  Then the non-fish eating girls both totally shocked me by ordering the fried cod special for $11 and I had the fried perch basket for $18 - Lake Perch is supposed to be at the top of the heap when it comes to local lake fish.

I thought my meal was good and the fish was very mild – much like crappie – and the fries and slaw were also good.  The girls were not impressed with their fish as it was just frozen cod that any restaurant might serve and it was even a little tough – mine was much better and even I would not have ordered the cod.  I’m looking forward to trying more local lake offerings such as walleye and white fish – I’d really like to get a sampler of all three for a taste test.

We’d planned to stop at the winery across from the campground but I was too full to enjoy sampling wine – but we still have tomorrow.

After having weather that had accommodated our down-one-A/C situation, it was predicted to be in the low 90’s for our last day in the Leelanau Peninsula so as soon as I got up, I closed all of the windows, opened all of the upper cabinet doors and set the thermostats on 63F hoping it would cool down the coach and everything in the cabinets so when I later closed the cabinet doors, they would absorb some of the heat entering the coach.

The ladies sat around under blankets but I assured them they would thank me later.  My biggest concern was that it was not going to cool off much after sundown so it might be pretty hot in the bedroom for sleeping – I also had our small fan blowing air to the BR from the main area.

After yesterdays visit to two cideries, we wanted to go to the two very local wineries and try some of their wines and ciders.  Our first stop was Aurora located about a mile from the campground and it was a bustling place as they were hosting two weddings, but the
tasting room was vacant so we got great service.  Forgot my camera so no inside shots.

Their set up was nice with a large but welcoming tasting room and we were greeted at the door.  We ended up buying a couple of wines and some cider. 

From there, we went to 45 North Vineyard and Winery located right across the road from the campground, but unlike Aurora, their long tasting bar was nearly full of customers. 

Once again we bought a couple bottles of wine but four 6-packs of cider.  We have decided we can get wine nearly everywhere, but not the case with this delicious hard cider.

After the tasting I dropped the ladies off downtown for an arts festival and I went back and dog sat – I’m not an arts guy when it’s cool, and definitely not when it’s 90F.  They said the artwork was very nice and Bev took a few pics for me.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


8/3-8/4/18 Event Dates


  1. That is some Bloody Mary! Lake perch around here is good, but we have tried them with walleye (pickerel here in Ontario) that we get right across lake Huron from where you are. Prefer the walleye, and crappie when we can get it from friends.
    I would pass on the art stuff too.

  2. Holy Bloody Mary - that is a meal in itself! Looks like you've had a fun time doing cider tastings.

  3. I really liked hearing about that amazing Bloody Mary as well as your wine travels!

  4. Larry, Nice post! You and yours had a busy day...fulfilling too! Those bloody Mary's look terrific...Laurie raved about they way they looked. Lots of exploring by ya'll. Travel Carefully and good luck with the air conditioning... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. Sounds like a good day and those onion rings look great!

  6. Ditto what everyone else said about the Bloody Marys, but what I chuckled at was the tandem bicycle hanging over the door of that barn.

  7. Looks like you're having a heck of a good time. That bloody Mary is wild.


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