The Glen Arbor Sun won seven awards in four different categories from the Michigan Press Association’s 2023 Better Newspaper Contest among local news media for stories published between August 1, 2022, and July 31, 2023. The Sun won two awards in Best Opinion, three awards in Business/Agriculture News, and one award each in Feature Story and Spot News. Winners included Abby Chatfield, Katie Dunn, Alexandra Dailey, Jacob Wheeler and Julie Zapoli.

French Valley Vineyard brings the fiesta to your Thursdays from 4-7 pm all winter long, with sizzling live music and mouthwatering tamales from Spanglish. The musical lineup includes: Chris Skellenger on Feb. 8, Rhett & Jon on Feb. 15, the Duges on Feb. 22, and Dennis Palmer on Feb. 29. French Valley’s sister winery, Bel Lago, hosts Folgarelli’s Lasagna Saturdays from noon-5 pm each Saturday through February. Saturday, Feb. 10, will also feature a Super Soup-er Supper from 1-4 pm.

“In wine, there is truth.” Overquoted? Maybe. But in the case of the early winery owners and their family members of the Leelanau Peninsula, the expression holds true. Writing for the Glen Arbor Sun, Rebecca Carlson set out to understand the origins of the current successful wine industry in Leelanau. Through years of experimenting, working and taming the soil and vines, “In Vino Veritas” is in the lifeblood of these early Leelanau Peninsula vintners.

Consider Tomas Moreno a matchmaker for Leelanau County’s migrant farmworkers. The soft-spoken, good-natured Texas native and Leland Public School graduate with family roots in Mexico manages 54 vineyard acres north of Lake Leelanau for Bel Lago and French Valley wineries. He interprets for and leads a crew of Hispanic farm workers, indispensable to the harvest, some of whom arrive in northern Michigan on H-2A temporary work visas. Tomas, who turns 41 next month, also recently began making fresh tortillas with his wife Julieta to sell to the local Latino community.

Join chef and author Abra Berens for a virtual cooking lesson featuring a recipe from Abra’s cookbook Ruffage — A Practical Guide to Vegetables with wine pairing from Bel Lago winemaker Blake Lougheed.

Sitting with owner and executive winemaker Charlie Edson on Bel Lago Vineyards and Winery’s tasting room patio on a sunny summer day, it’s easy to appreciate his Italian father-in-law’s inspiration for the name “Bel Lago,” which means beautiful lake in Italian. From the vantage point of a steep hill above the western shore of Lake Leelanau, the view is indeed spectacular—white clouds in a blue sky reflecting onto the bluer waters of the southern end of the lake.

Thousands of visitors flock to Leelanau County each year, many of them attracted by big draws such as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. But while nothing compares to the delight of bounding down the Dune Climb after a sweaty trek uphill, or taking in the pristine view of the Manitou Islands from a sugar sand beach, there are plenty of lesser-known places in the county to have fun, too. Two of these places are sister communities Maple City and Cedar.

The Spring Sip & Savor returns to the Leelanau Peninsula wine trail the weekend of May 5-6. This annual celebration features food and wine pairings at 19 wineries along with the “Sip-o de Mayo Hat Contest” — a chance to show off your best hat and win prizes including a fantastic getaway to Michigan’s Wine Coast.