With great wine, you’ll never whine in Jackson or along the Pioneer Wine Trail

August 14th, 2013

By Bradley MacDonald | MLive Marketing Staff
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There’s no need to go all the way to Napa Valley. When you are ready to indulge in some wine tasting, set your sights on Jackson and the rest of Southeastern Michigan.

The Pioneer Wine Trail, ample for spending just a few hours up to a few days, features rolling irish hills, lakes, and the Hidden Lake Gardens, making it one of the more scenic wine trails around. But since not everyone hits a wine trail for the views, you’ll be happy to hear the wine is pretty darn good too.
One of the more unique winery experiences you can find is at Chateau Aeronautique Winery, right in Jackson.
Located on an airpark with a grass runway and surrounded by forest, this winery offers a unique and calming setting. Its owner is Lorenzo Lizarralde, an airline pilot who flies DC-9’s, DC-10’s, and 757’s domestically to Europe and Hawaii. With its airpark location, it’s not only wine you’ll find here, but a hangar chockfull of airline artifacts and Lizarralde’s 1956 Cessna 172.
Lizarralde’s flying background has brought him all over the world where he has toured many wineries. He’s modeled Chateau Aeronautique Winery after the chateau wineries of Bordeaux, France.
Lizarradle and his team use 100 percent Michigan grapes to make their wines. Whether a fan of dry or sweet wines, you’ll find something to love here. The aromas of the winery, the mystique of the wine cellar, the tastes you’ll find in the tasting room, and the airpark setting all collide to form a winery experience you’ll want to enjoy again and again.
Sandhill Crane Vineyards is another worthy stop for wine connoisseurs. This award-winning vineyard features a wide range of wines made on site with all local ingredients.  Sandhill is home to the most gold medals and greatest amount of medals of any winery in Southeastern Michigan.
This vineyard also houses a farm-to-table cafe complete with soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Along with indulging in some win, you can take in some live music as the vineyard hosts musicians and bands often.
Jackson, and its surrounding areas, was discovered to have fertile soil way back in the early 19th century. It didn’t take long for wineries to start to sprout up, and with lots of ups and downs and now the evolution of tastes and the industry, wineries like Chateau Aeronautique and Sandhill Crane are flourishing and help propel Michigan to be ranked fourth in the nation in grape growing, with over 14,600 acres of vineyards.
Grab your friends, your special someone, or even just yourself, and set off on the Pioneer Wine Trail in Jackson, and other surrounding areas, like Tecumseh and Brooklyn, to experience a wine tour like nothing else. Michigan wine is something special, and Jackson not only helps showcase this by its wineries, but its wineries settings and uniqueness.

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