SUTTONS BAY — The name says it all.
Saturday's Wine on the Water Festival represents the best of the Leelanau Peninsula — award-winning wines, tasty food and live music, all in an intimate setting at Marina Park on the shores of Suttons Bay.
If the festival seems familiar, it’s because it’s been around for years. The annual foodie fest began as the Annual Northport Wine Fest and then relocated to Suttons Bay as the Leelanau Peninsula Wine, Food and Music Festival. It returns this year, christened with a new name and logo.
“We have totally rebranded and renamed the festival and we think it will do really well,” said Sally Guzowski, executive director of the Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the festival. “It was in Northport for at least 10 years but with the onset of new wine festivals, we started to see a drop in attendance and decided to move it and rename it.”
Event proceeds will benefit the Chamber's new Visitor Center, recently relocated from Suttons Bay to M-204 in Lake Leelanau. The Chamber is not only charged with enhancing the economic well-being of the peninsula's tourism, business, industry, agriculture and the arts, but also acts as its Visitor Information Center.
This year, Wine on the Water attendees will find 20 Leelanau County wineries, four county food vendors and The Filling Station brewery from Traverse City, as well as an array of music from blues to jazz.
Matt Gregory, general manager at Chateau de Leelanau, said the winery will bring a variety of wines perfect for summer sipping, including a number of whites.
"We’ll be bringing Bianca, which is our flagship wine,” said Gregory, who likens the wine to a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. “It’s a very obscure grape with Hungarian roots.”