By special invitation from wine maker, Josh McCarthy, who we met our first evening in Traverse City, we arrived at Bonobo Winery.  Bonobo isn’t yet included on all Old Mission Peninsula Winery lists and we were certainly glad we didn’t miss this one.

With ties to HGTV, the owners are committed to the efforts of the Bonobo Conservancy, which of course won points with Naturalist Aary right from the start.

Bonobo was also the first winery on the peninsula to regularly be open until 9 PM Monday through Saturday, thus encouraging other wineries to follow suit.


Behind their massive building was a huge elevated patio overlooking the row after row of vines.  In the distance was the bay.  It was just a beautiful setting for enjoying a bottle of wine.



Inside, there were a number of alcoves comfortably furnished and inviting guests to sit down and enjoy wine and conversation.

And oh their wines!

Josh made sure that we tried them all.

  • 2014 Pinot Gris
  • 2014 Albarino
  • 2015 Chardonnay C
  • 2014 Chardonnay M
  • 2014 Chardonnay Estate
  • 2014 Riesling Select
  • 2014 Cabernet Franc
  • 2014 Walla Walla Syrah



While the Cab Franc won out as our favorite, we can no longer say that we are ABC drinkers. We just needed to find the right Chardonnay!  Aary and I preferred the oaked Chardonnays and Bushmaster preferred the Chardonnay C.  The Riesling was by far the best we had in the region.

Gourmet food pairings created to complement their wines were available.  There was also a small gift shop featuring unique items and wine accessories.

Each wine was so expertly crafted.  It was truly an amazing experience to learn about some of the nuances of their wine making and to taste such exquisite wines.  Josh was such a gracious host and made our experience one of the highlights of our trip.