First a dairy enterprise, and then a cherry orchard, this farm now annually produces over 1000 cases of Bordeaux varietal red wines, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, and also produces fine Chardonnay, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer white wines.
Brothers Warren and Curtis Raftshol began the latest incarnation of their family farm in 1985. They were the first vineyard in the area to grow commercial-sized plantings of red vinifera grapes, which most local growers believed would fail in our northern climate. Their gamble paid off, as they are still renowned for Raftshol Red, one of the first red wines made in Northern Michigan (produced by Peninsula Cellars of Old Mission). Other local vineyards have since followed the Raftshol’s lead and are now growing red grapes.
A picture of the Raftshol’s mother Jean when she was twenty, graces the sign at the road. Because of Jean’s foresight in keeping the farm for her children, the Raftshol brothers are able to continue the long and honorable family tradition of earning a living from the land. The Raftshol Vineyards’ wine tasting room is open from noon until 5 p.m., seven days a week, year round.
1865 N West Bay Shore Drive
Suttons Bay, MI 49682