GTPulse: Drink Wine With Your Dog At This Old Mission Peninsula Vineyard
It’s hard to walk into a department store without seeing kitchen signs, throw pillows and other decor with sayings like ‘dog mother, wine lover’ or ‘I just want to drink wine and rescue dogs.’ There’s good reason for the dog and wine frenzy that spans over generations; dogs and wine are fantastic additions to everyday life. Traverse City is the Midwest’s wine country, and also a dog-loving town so it only makes sense to combine the two.
I hadn’t yet been to a vineyard since moving to Traverse City three months ago (gasp), and Bowers Harbor was a great way to lose my vineyard virginity. It ticks all the boxes that one would want on a Northern Michigan vineyard trip. It’s on Old Mission, looks like it’s straight out of a Romeo and Juliet set and the staff are warm and welcoming. Melissa Weber, wine club manager, is one of the many friendly faces working at Bowers Harbor. She and golden doodle Ziggy took me all around the beautiful grounds to tell me about Yappy Hour.
Bowers Harbor is a 28-year-old family owned vineyard and what family is complete without a furry friend? Linda Stegenga and son Spencer Stegenga are the owners of Bowers Harbor Vineyards and both live on the property; Linda in front of the circle drive and Spencer with his wife and two children in back among the vineyards. Both families have been proud and loving dog owners for years and have even named wines after their beloved pets. A sparkling watermelon and cantaloupe wine has a bright personality like the pup it’s named after, Brix. The house whites are named Otis and Cooper.
“They were named after Spencer and Linda’s dogs that they had here,” Melissa said. “They were like our mascot dogs.”
Yappy Hour began two Thursdays ago and will run every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. through October. The event encourages dog owners to enjoy a few glasses of wine at Bowers Harbor with their four-legged friend in tow. The dogs are allowed everywhere on the grounds and in the heated outdoor pavilion, but not in the tasting room.
“As long as dogs are on a leash, owners are free to take them anywhere outside and inside our outdoor pavilion.”
All of the wines named after the Stegenga dogs will be $5. When Melissa said ‘dog wines’ I naively thought that she meant wine for dogs. The dogs will not be drinking wine, and there is no wine available to them, but there are dog treats for purchase.
As if drinking wine and hanging out with your dog weren’t reason enough to smile, part of the proceeds from red wine Winston goes to Cherryland Humane Society.
Colder temperatures mean retreating further and further into the depths of our warm and cozy homes, but fall in Northern Michigan is so special and so beautiful. Bowers Harbor Vineyards wants you to get out and enjoy the beauty before winter, and what better way to enjoy than with your best pal? Yappy Hour is an opportunity for dogs and dog owners alike to get out and socialize in the beautiful autumn outdoors, and this week’s Yappy Hour will have a photo booth for pups and their owners.
“We are very animal friendly, we love dogs here at Bowers Harbor.”