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Sunrise Side Excitment

Sunny Side Up: Sunrise Side Trail Links Wineries, Breweries In Northeast Michigan

April 17, 2013 Sunrise Side Excitement No Comments
Sunrise Side Wine and Hops Trail

Sunny Side Up: Sunrise Side Trail Links Wineries, Breweries In Northeast Michigan
Michigan By The Bottle | Cortney Casey | April 13, 2013

NORTHEAST MICHIGAN – When it comes to attracting wine-loving tourists from downstate and beyond, the Sunrise Side Wine & Hops Trail — a budding consortium of wineries and breweries spanning from Standish to Cheboygan — is hoping to give new meaning to the phrase “up north.”

While many northbound Michigan wine aficionados are accustomed to steering west, toward Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas, Sunrise Side members say they have “Michigan’s best kept secret” in their northeastern corner of the state.

Jeff Czymbor of Modern Craft Winery and Jack Matthias of Thunder Bay Resort formally launched the trail a year ago in an effort to promote all that the “Sunrise Coast” region — as designated by the Michigan Tourist Division — had to offer.

It started out as a mere map that pointed out the connections between the wineries, breweries and attractions, but as momentum built and more members joined, the group’s efforts intensified. Now, the trail’s reach includes various wine and hops publications; a joint website that includes maps, event listings and more; a consolidated social media campaign; and the distribution of hundreds of thousands of Sunrise Side brochures and posters throughout Michigan and into Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.

The southernmost edge of the Sunrise Side trail begins in Standish, along US-23, and branches off to the east and west, winding northward past a number of wineries and breweries along M-33 and the Lake Huron coastline before converging in Alpena. An offshoot leg extends northwest from Alpena to Cheboygan.

Stops along the trail include Modern Craft Winery in Au Gres and its two off-site tasting rooms, in Harrisville and West Branch; Rose Valley Winery and Valley Mist Vineyards, both in Rose City; Thunder Bay Winery, Stoney Acres Winery and Fletcher Street Brewing Co. in Alpena; Nicholas Black River Vineyards & Winery and Cheboygan Brewing Co., both in Cheboygan.; and Wiltse’s Brew Pub in Oscoda.

Besides the wineries and breweries, the trail boasts several “attraction partners” intended to boost the destination appeal for tourists, including Saganing Eagle’s Lansing Casino in Standish, Charity Island Lighthouse Tour & Dinner Cruise in Au Gres, Au Sable River Queen paddleboat excursions in Oscoda, Alpena Shipwreck Tours in Alpena and Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman.

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