The 5 Best Wineries In and Around New Buffalo, Michigan

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The 5 Best Wineries In and Around New Buffalo, Michigan

New Buffalo, Michigan, is a charming town located on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Just 17 minutes North of Michigan City and less than an hour southwest of Paw Paw, Michigan, it is a popular spot for tourists, thanks to its beautiful beaches, quaint shops, and lively restaurants.  But did you know New Buffalo is also home to a thriving wine industry?

I recently made a quick trip to New Buffalo, Michigan, to discover some of their local wineries.  I was excited to learn more about Michigan’s wine industry and was not disappointed!  I visited five wineries, each with its own unique story to tell.

I enjoyed visiting these wineries and learned much about Michigan’s wine industry.  I recommend visiting any of these wineries in the New Buffalo area.

Hickory Creek Winery

The Hickory Creek Winery - a large red barn-shaped building with a blue sky behind it.

Hickory Creek Winery is a small, family-owned winery located in Buchanan, Michigan, in the heart of Southwest Michigan Wine Country, just a short drive from New Buffalo.  The winery was founded in 2017 by Adam McBride, who has a passion for winemaking and a love of the land.  Adam was warm, welcoming, and proud to share his passions:  wine-making and serving people.

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Hickory Creek focuses on dry and semi-dry wine varieties.  The wines are made with grapes from Michigan vineyards, and they are all handcrafted in small batches.  This winery is the smallest winery on the Michigan wine trail, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm and quality.

Hickory Creek Winery is a great place to visit for a relaxing afternoon of wine tasting.  The winery has a beautiful tasting room with a large patio overlooking the acres of vineyards.  You can also enjoy one of their Rustic Wine Dinners, where a limited number of guests come together for a four or five-course meal.  Each course is paired with a featured Hickory Creek wine.  Executive Chef David Hardy lends his talent to this fine dining and tasting event.  Dates available are on the Hickory Creek website, but book quickly, as these dinners fill fast!

The barrell room in the back space of Hickory Creek winery - many wooden barrels lined up with lights strung over them.
A welcome sign at Hickory Creek - a chalkboard with chalk-written options for what to experience while at Hickory Creek including outside seating, inside seating, guided tastings, flightboards, wine by the glass and wine by the bottle.
The small interior tasting area of Hickory Creek Winery with a bar that seats 6 people

The down-to-earth and friendly staff stood out most during my Hickory Creek visit.  They were more than happy to share their knowledge of wine tasting, which was incredibly helpful as a beginner wine drinker.  Hickory Creek is a great place to start if you want to learn more about wine tasting.

The entrance to Hickory Creek Winery with a sign and a mailbox along a country road.

Hickory Creek Winery is an excellent choice for a unique and memorable wine-tasting experience.  The friendly staff will happily help you find the perfect wine for your taste.  At Hickory Creek, you’ll experience excellent customer service and excellent wine!

750 Browntown Rd, Buchanan, MI 49107

Hip Grandma’s Choice:  Rouge Doux, a sweet dessert wine:  Dark chocolate and cherry with hints of clove.

Domaine Berrien Cellars

The exterior of the Domaine-Berrien winery - a small dusty blue houselike building with a ramp leading to the doorway.

Located just outside New Buffalo and established in 1992, Domaine Berrien Cellars has provided Southwest Michigan and the surrounding area with fine wines for over 30 years.  The winery is family-owned and operated, and the staff is passionate about winemaking and sharing their love of wine with guests.  This French-style winery is known for its dry reds and Rhone varietals and is the only Michigan member of the Rhone Rangers

The tasting room at Domaine Berrien is small, but the staff is friendly and happy to answer any questions.  In the spring, summer, and fall, enjoy your tasting outside. 

The winery offers a variety of wine-tasting experiences, including guided tastings, barrel tastings, and private events.  The winery also has a beautiful outdoor patio where you can pair one of your classic favorites with a selection of crackers, sausages, cheeses, and (my favorite) chocolates!

Domaine Berrien Cellars is a great choice if you are looking for a friendly and welcoming winery with a selection of great wines.  The staff is happy to help you find the perfect wine for your taste, and they will make you feel right at home.

398 E Lemon Creek Rd, Berrien Springs, MI 49103

Hip Grandma’s Choice:  Grandma’s Red (of course).  A sweet red wine made with deep red grapes and a full, sweet finish.  This 2021 wine is going fast, so you better get your hands on it before it’s gone! 

Lemon Creek Winery

The sign at the entrance to the Lemon Creek Winery

Just a quick walk down the road from Domaine Berrien, you’ll find Lemon Creek Winery, a wonderful family-owned and operated winery in Berrien Springs, Michigan.  The winery has been in operation for over 160 years!

Lemon Creek has a long history of producing award-winning wines, and it currently has over 170 acres of wine grapes and about 60 acres of fruit.  When the fruits are perfectly ripe, you can come on in to enjoy a u-pick experience or grab some pre-picked delights!  If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy Michigan’s outdoor beauty, sit on the outdoor patio and enjoy a tasting as you look out over the vineyards.

I visited the winery on the day of their free Wine and Art Festival, a family-friendly event showcasing local artists and offering some of the winery’s best.  I enjoyed exploring the winery, tasting the wines, and meeting the friendly staff.  I would recommend Lemon Creek Winery to anyone looking for a relaxing day in the country or a fun and festive event.

533 E Lemon Creek Rd, Berrien Springs, MI 49103

Hip Grandma’s Choice:  Cabernet Franc, dry red wine with notes of ripe berry and raspberry, and clean, fresh acidity.

Free Run Cellars

The exterior of the Free Run Cellars winery.  A gray building with some fieldstone and a green sign saying "Free Run"

Free Run Cellars is a hip and fun winery in Berrien Springs, Michigan, just a short drive from New Buffalo.  Set back from the road, this quaint, small winery produces various wines.  As with all of the wineries I’ve mentioned here, the first thing you notice when you enter the parking area is grapevines.  Something is inviting about those vines, ready to burst with fruit.

a stormy sky overlooks a field with a vineyard.

The winery offers a variety of wine-tasting experiences and has inside and outdoor seating on the patio.  Check the website for information on the Free Run Cellars Epicurean Dinner.  At this special event, the winery pairs its best wines with small place delights from the LaSalle Grill out of South Bend, Indiana.  You will love this fun event where you’ll enjoy both the wine and food tasting.

If you are looking for a unique and memorable wine-tasting experience, Free Run Cellars is a great choice.  The friendly staff will happily help you find the perfect wine for your taste.

a Fieldstone sign with Free Run on the front backed with green

Another note:  Check out the Round Barn Winery, a sister winery to Free Run Cellars.  They have excellent reviews and are now on my list of wineries to explore!

10062 Burgoyne Rd, Berrien Springs, MI 49103

Hip Grandma’s Choice:  Valvin Muscat, a sweet white wine with notes of grapefruit, lemon, and lime.

Pink background with "Hip Grandma Merch" available on front

Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant

The fieldstone exterior or Tabor Hill Winery with their name in large black letters

You can’t be in the New Buffalo area without a side trip to the Tabor Hill Winery, a beautiful upscale winery in Buchanan, Michigan.  It’s just a short 22-mile drive from New Buffalo.  The winery has a long history of producing award-winning wines and offers various amenities for guests to enjoy.

When I visited on a Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, cars packed the parking lot, and the wait list was long, but I understand why.  I’ve tasted some of their wines and can understand the draw.

Although I couldn’t get a table that evening, I made my way around the grounds and asked some questions of those visiting, and here’s what I found.

A look over the outside patio and picnic area of the Tabor Winery.

The food is excellent!  The staff is cheerful, and service is prompt and friendly.  The bar serves local craft beers, so if you are dining with a friend or family member who prefers an ale over wine, Tabor Hill is for you.  Tabor Hill seems to have a loyal following, with many repeat visitors, which is always telling.

When you visit Tabor Hill, you can tour the winery and learn about the winemaking process.  Of course, you will want to sample a variety of Tabor Hill wines in the winery’s tasting room.  You can even sit out on the grounds at one of several picnic areas.  Come on a weekend and enjoy live music.  Make sure you check the website for a schedule.

The entrance and exit of the Tabor winery.

I highly recommend Tabor Hill Winery for a fun and relaxing day out.  The winery is a great place to visit with friends and family.  I hope you enjoy your visit!

185 Mt. Tabor Rd. Buchanan MI 49107

Hip Grandma’s Choice:  Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, a dry wine with notes of cherry and strawberry.

BONUS – The Local Pour

The outside of a lovely grey building with a sloped roof, a The Local Pour sign on the outside and a blue sky and trees behind it.

The Local Pour is in Sawyer, Michigan, a neighboring town to New Buffalo.  Although this establishment doesn’t create wine, I find it a unique and excellent place to get a feel for Michigan’s wine options.  Owners Jayme and Chalet came together about two years ago after individual careers in property management to create this charming business.  They carry a finely curated selection of the best Michigan wines, so here’s your chance to try them before you travel to find a favorite boutique winery.

The interior of The Tasting Room showing the spacious area near the bar.

Not only does The Local Pour have a wide selection of delicious wines, but they also make a mean cocktail!  Every Saturday during the summer, take your glass out to the patio and enjoy live music.  Check their website for a schedule of upcoming performances.  Sometimes they host live music on Fridays and Sundays.  I listened to Matt Kotinek and his band out of South Bend, Indiana when I visited.

The Local Pour is conveniently located on Red Arrow Highway in Sawyer.  Before Jayme and Chalet moved in, the building had been abandoned for seven years after its last incarnation as a Mexican restaurant.  What a significant improvement for the neighborhood and those traveling through the area!  The building is clean and spacious, and they carry a selection of wines for purchase in addition to the open bar.

The interior of The Local Pour showing two large racks filled with bottles of wine.
The outdoor patio area of The Local Pour

If you’re hungry while visiting, you’re in luck!  Jovani’s Carry-Out Kitchen is next door to the Local Pour in the same building.  You can treat yourself to a delightful Indian dish to go.  Delightful Chovani will take your order, and her husband Joel will cook it up while you wait.  If you’d like to eat on-site, you are welcome to sit in or on the patio at The Local Pour as long as you compliment your meal with a drink.  And another bonus!  The patio is dog-friendly, so bring your furry friend with you!

Finally, if you’re new to wine, like me, hop on over to The Local Pour on Wednesday for Wine Education Wednesday, the perfect place to learn while you taste!

The Hip Grandma with Pink hair smiling and holding a wine glass with a bottle of Gewurztraminer placed in front of her.

12857 Red Arrow Hwy, Sawyer, MI 49125

Hip Grandma’s Choice:  I loved this Gewurztraminer from Verterra Winery in the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan.  Although a dry wine, because of the high acid content, this wine tastes sweet.

Need a Place to Stay in New Buffalo?

Wrapping it All Up

Many great Southwest Michigan wineries exist in and around New Buffalo, Michigan.  Whether you are looking for a casual afternoon of wine tasting or a more formal dining experience, there is sure to be a winery that is perfect for you.  So next time you are in the area, check out one of these great wineries.  With so many great options, you’ll find a winery and a wine you love.  A note:  If you are bringing a larger group, please call the winery ahead.  Many prefer to accommodate small groups.

For more amazing adventures along the wine trail without driving, schedule a tasting tour with The Bottle Run, a service that introduces you to the flavor of Southwest Michigan on one of three Southwest Michigan Wine Tours.  Choose your pickup and drop-off location within 30 miles of Benton Harbor.

The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail website has a list and a map of wineries.  You will find your new favorite at one of these excellent wineries.

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