As you are driving through the beautiful, scenic Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, you will see many signs for many different wineries. When you see the sign for The Round Barn, make sure you turn in; you will not be disappointed. Driving up to the building, you will see that it is, in fact, a round barn. Its striking white exterior is both eye-catching and inviting, not to mention intriguing. When you walk through the doors into the tasting room, the friendly staff and pleasant smell of fermenting wine welcome you inside to enjoy a tasting experience like none other.
This wine-lover's destination is actually two buildings located right next to each other. The round barn itself hosts the wine tastings, where you can sample from their extensive wine list, as well as tastings from the distillery, where you can taste their bourbon, rum, or vodka. Just across the way is a more conventional, square building where you can sample several different beers. These tastings are truly an experience, and all the beverages you sample are available for purchase.
The Round Barn has an extensive wine list, and all their wines are made on the premises. You can find several varieties of white, red, fruit, and sparkling wines. From sweet to dry, fruity to oaky, the knowledgeable staff will help you choose which wines you will like to taste, and which you will like to bring home with you. At a wine tasting, you will be able to try white wines first, then reds, and then a dessert wine of your choice.
As you savor each sip, the staff will tell you all about the wines you are trying, and if you have any questions, they will be more than happy to answer them. You don't have to worry about these wine-lovers being pretentious or thinking your questions are silly. They will tell you right away that there are no stupid questions about wine, and they love to talk all about the wines they produce. For the newbie and the aficionado alike, this will be an educational and enjoyable experience.
There is also a distillery on the premises, and as part of any tasting, you can try a bourbon, rum, or vodka. If hard alcohol isn't your thing, you can have them mix your selection with soda or make it into a mini-martini. They also have several mouth-watering recipes for martinis and cocktails available that will have you ready to take home a bottle and try for your next dinner party.
Next to the actual round building, there is a rectangular building that houses the beer tap. As part of a wine tasting, you will receive a token for one free beer tasting, but you can also pay to do a full beer tasting. Some of the beers on tap range from season to season, but they do have several standards such as the Amber Ale, IPA, and a wheat beer. There's something for every beer-lover at this brewery, and if you fall in love, you can always purchase a six-pack to take with you.
Each tasting of wine, liquor, or beer is only an ounce or so, but these samples can quickly start to take their toll. If you are visiting The Round Barn - and especially if you are visiting other wineries on the trail in the same day - be sure you have someone who is designated as your driver to be sure you all get home safely. A tasting at The Round Barn is a great experience, so make sure you end it with a great, and safe, ride home.