Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant – Michigan

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When a winery has been established since 1968, you come to expect more from them than some of the other wineries. With all that experience, you feel that the quality should be higher, the staff more professional, and the wines should taste better. Well, your expectations have been exceeded! Tabor Hill Winery offers all these things and a whole lot more! Award winning wines, guided tours, an elegant restaurant and lounge that overlook the scenic hills are only part of the wine experience here. How can you resist a winery that also has a Chocolate Salon? There are many “must see” wineries in Southwest Michigan and Tabor Hill Winery is one of them.

We drove up on a hot, June afternoon and loved the quaint setting as we pulled into the parking lot. Beautiful rolling hills and vineyards surround the cobblestone, chalet style winery. At the entrance above the door are words of wisdom….”Drink Wine, Laugh Often, Live Long.”  Now we know we are going to like this place! We were greeted at the door and escorted through the wine shop and brought directly to the tasting room. We were introduced to Luke who is an educated wine buff and is also filming his own independent film about the wineries of Southwest Michigan. As our wine consultant and server that day, Luke gave us lots of great information and tidbits about Tabor Hill Winery. The one tidbit we liked was that Tabor Hill Classic Demi-Sec has been served in the White House to many different presidents over the years and is always one of the top selling wines in the Midwest.

So if it’s good enough for our presidents, then it’s good enough for us! Luke gave us our wine glasses and menu as we began to peruse our wine choices. Out of almost 30 wines on the menu, we were able to narrow down our choices to about 5 each. It was a very impressive wine list since almost all of the wines have won an award at a wine competition somewhere in the United States. One thing to take note of is that most all the grapes that Tabor Hill uses were grown in the Lake Michigan Shore AVA. Something to be proud of about our local wine growing region along the Lake Michigan Shore! Dry white wines include two wonderful Chardonnays, Riesling, Chardonel, and Pinot Gris. They offer a variety of dry reds like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Plus some tasty sparkling wines, semi-dry, and dessert wines round out the menu.

We had many favorites but our favorite white wine was actually a tie between the Chardonel which had bright citrus and lime flavors and the Dry Riesling which had hints of apple and citrus leading to a clean finish. The Riesling should be excellent since Tabor Hill was the first winery in Michigan to plant European vinifera Riesling grape varieties. Our favorite red wine was the Syrah and it was definitely one of the best Syrahs we have ever tasted! Fruit forward with a dark chocolate nose, cherries and berries on the palate, and a lively pepper finish. Kudos to Mike Merchant and his team for making some excellent, tasty, fun, and unique wines!

So as we make our way out of the tasting room to buy our favorite wines, the smell of chocolate is in the air. Yes, the Chocolate Salon is open and is in order after an afternoon of learning and tasting. Tabor Hill Winery offers Norman Love Chocolate Confections for the sweet tooth in all of us. We can’t resist since we love the total wine experience of great food, sweet chocolates, beautiful scenery, protected nature, good music, and flavorful wines. It is what life is all about and Tabor Hill Winery offers some of the best! Check out their website at www.TaborHill.com for more information about Tabor Hill wines, restaurant, history, hours, and directions. We can’t wait to visit again this fall!

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