I am fortunate to have been able to do a little traveling throughout our wonderful country. One of my favorite places is Traverse City, Michigan. After leaving the freeway, getting to Traverse City is a beautiful drive along rural country landscape, farms, golf courses, large trees, and, of course, a casino.

While driving along Route 31, along East Arm Grand Traverse Bay and West Grand Traverse Bay, it’s nothing to see a bald eagle fly by your window.

Traverse City is a charming small city with lots of shops and wonderful cafes. You can have a wonderful day of shopping and enjoying lunch nestled along the beautiful West Grand Traverse Bay. I found the best pie I have ever eaten at one of my favorite cafes, the Traverse City Pie Company. It’s a cozy, charming café with every kind of pie that can be made or even thought of. You can be a member of the “Pie of the Month Club” and have one of their pies mailed to your home. It’s worth it!

Then heading northwest for Traverse City, you will run into the country. Miles and miles of vineyards. Each one so wonderfully breathtaking. It’s a natural beauty that is hard to explain. Their tasting rooms overlook their vineyards. The interiors of the rooms are made from local woods and wonderful pieces of local history. Talking with the owners about their local history can be very educational. They talk about shows (contests) that they have been to with their wines. You get to know how very hard they have worked. I can see the labor of their love.

The parks, lighthouses, and the old rescue station along Lake Michigan are wonderful to see, too. The Dunes of Big Bear are very high and seem to go on for miles. And the lake appears to be a very deep color of blue.

Delaware County has it’s own little treasure that happens to remind me of those charming vineyards along Lake Michigan. It’s Soine Vineyards Winery at 3510 Clark-Shaw Road. It’s a wonderful surprise to find it so close to home! You pull down the drive along grapevine, standing guard, to welcome you to their garden, where you will find their tasting room. A wine bar is to the right of the room with a small seating area to your left. To me, the room is decorated with an old worldly atmosphere that reminds me of the tasting room in Michigan. Soine’s wine was very good. I have to admit that I don’t drink very much wine, but I know what I like, and it was very good. (I am more of a beer guy.) The owners are very pleasant and friendly. You can tell that they have worked very hard to make this wonderful vineyard and winery out of their dreams. I enjoy talking with them. They are open to the public two days a week. You can also make reservations for private parties and gatherings.

It was a great surprise to find that our own Delaware County has such a wonderful, charming place like this, that takes me back to places that I love. And, just think, it’s in our own back yard!


By Loren Pool

Contributing columnist

Loren Pool is a retired Delaware County deputy sheriff.