Relax and un-WINEd at Westview Orchards’ new tasting room

What’s my favorite part about Westview Orchards, Adventure Farm and Winery?  Picturesque wagon rides through the orchard’s rolling hills? Twenty-six varieties of U-Pick apples and fields full of bright orange pumpkins? Delicious cider, donuts and baked goods? The corn maze, the apple cannon or the apple sling shot? Actually, it’s all of the above. It’s all part of what makes the overall experience so special.

Now there’s one more reason to visit, and it’s a good one – the new Westview Orchards Winery. WOW is an appropriate acronym. The winery’s tasting room opened quietly at the beginning of October. It’s located above the cider barn and you’ll need to climb a windy staircase up the inside of the barn’s silo to get there. It’s worth the trip!

My coworkers and I spent a recent afternoon sampling flights of the new wine and hard cider. There are three varieties of fruit wines—Awesome Apple, Peach Queen and Strawberry Fields – along with a sweet white, a sweet red, Michigan Catawba and Just Peachy (my personal favorite).

The labels of the fruit wines offer a glimpse into Westview’s 200+ year history. Each has a photo of one of the sixth-generation, family-owned farm’s ancestors, accompanied by a story on the back of the bottle. The hard cider is named for “Fearless Mike” Bowerman, Westview’s founder, who was granted Westview’s farmland for service to his country in the War of 1812!

Under the innovative vision of sisters Katrina Roy and Abby Jacobson (Bowerman’s great-great-great-granddaughters!), along with Abby’s husband Bill, Westview has evolved over the years from a roadside stand into one of Macomb County’s greatest agri-tourism attractions.

It’s dizzying to think Westview 1of all the facets of the three-season farm that the family manages—from group tours to beehives to a bakery and farm market, from an indoor and outdoor petting barn with pigs, chickens, goats, rabbits and a donkey, to a weather station research partnership with MSU Extension that monitors temperature and rainfall to predict disease and track insect populations in an effort to use less pesticides. It’s all in a day’s work at Westview.

Westview 3But back to the winery. While our group was reluctant to leave the cozy atmosphere of the tasting room, complete with soaring, beamed ceilings, walls adorned with twinkling lights, and chill-axing background music, we eventually finished our flights and headed for home—but not before purchasing several bottles of wine as souvenirs of our visit and hostess gifts for the upcoming holiday season. I’m already plotting my return!

Michelle Fusco is a lifelong Macomb County resident, Macomb County Chamber employee, freelance writer and country girl at heart.

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