Our Story

Stellar Wines From the Makers at Good Harbor Vineyards

About Good Harbor Vineyards in Lake Leelanau, MIOver 40 Years of Winemaking in Northern Michigan

The Simpson family wanted to create a high quality Michigan wine for consumers to enjoy at an affordable price. This was the plan put into place when they opened the doors of Good Harbor Vineyards back in 1980. Great wine doesn’t need to come at an extravagant cost. Bruce Simpson studied viticulture and oenology at the University of California Davis to begin his journey as a local winemaker. Once he graduated, he and his wife, Debbie, planted their vineyards and opened Good Harbor Vineyards. With their many years of research and development, they were able to create an extensive vineyard. The second-generation team of brother Sam and sister Taylor Simpson now own and operate the winery on the Leelanau Peninsula.

Having a family as dedicated to their craft as the Simpsons ensures you get a high-quality product. Pairing our wines for any occasion is one of our specialties, and no matter the event, we have a wine for your occasion. Our specialists would be happy to discuss growing methods, sign you up for our wine club or go over pairings for your next at-home meal.

Our Growing Family - Simpson Family Estates

The Simpson siblings are ambitious and have expanded their reach beyond Good Harbor Vineyards, creating Simpson Family Estates. Within this ‘family’ is nearby Aurora Cellars where under their tutelage it has gone on to win multiple awards nationally for its cool-climate red, white and sparkling wines. Simpson Family Estates also plays a critical role in the community by advocating for Michigan agriculture, supporting local wineries and wine trails and early childhood education for local children.

The Good Harbor Vineyards Wine Making Process

Like any good winery, our vineyards started with vines, dirt, water, and of course, love—our dedication to the process is what separates us from other competitors. We call our winemaking operation Harbor Hill Fruit Farms, as it supports not only Good Harbor Vineyards and Aurora Cellars, but now other wineries across Northern Michigan.  

Led by Sam and Taylor, Harbor Hill is a ground to glass wine consulting and production company that was officially established in 1978 after actively farming a variety of fruit types on the Leelanau Peninsula since 1956. With its talented and knowledgeable staff, industry-leading equipment, and state-of-the-art technology, Harbor Hill uses modern techniques to produce wine for Good Harbor Vineyards while paying tribute to the old world's methods for aging. Our process is seamless, from planting the vineyards to getting the cork in the bottles, thanks to our hard-working and passionate staff.

Types of wine by Good Harbor Vineyards in Lake Leelanau, MI

The Different Wine Varietals We Craft

Over 175 acres of Good Harbor’s prime vineyard sites are dedicated to growing and producing Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Grüner Veltliner, and Pinot Noir varietals. We also grow an assortment of Merlot, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Zweigelt, Lemberger, and Cabernet Franc. Each vine is carefully cultivated by our Harbor Hill vineyard management team. They work closely with our award-winning Harbor Hill winemaking team and together know precisely when is the perfect time for harvesting to achieve the best wine possible. As a result of this team work, Good Harbor wines consistently over delivery for the price.

Women in Wine

Running and operating a winery and tasting room is no easy task, and it's women like Debbie Simpson and her daughter, Taylor Simpson, that make the tasting experience a memorable experience. We would love to recognize their constant and consistent work ethic in helping bloom Good Harbor Vineyards into what it has become today. Both women have created successful careers in the portion of the industry often dominated by men. They put their best foot forward every day and use their unique perspectives to ensure that Good Harbor is professional and continues to grow each day. While Debbie no longer owns the operation she has trust her daughter, Taylor, and her son, Sam keep the winery and vineyards up and running. Debbie’s customer service came second to no one, and Taylor's secondary education is what made them the leaders Good Harbor Vineyards needed to be a success.

Join the Good Harbor Connoisseur Wine Club Today!

Love Good Harbor Vineyards wine? Consider joining the Good Harbor Connoisseur Wine Club today to receive excellent benefits, special discounts, and first access to limited-release wine as well as exceptional vintages. This all comes at no cost to you! Call us today to get set up or be sure to ask about how to join when you stop by for your next tasting or purchase. Below are even more reasons for you to join:

  • Good Harbor Vineyards wine club in Lake Leelanau, MI

    No fee to join
  • 20% off all wine purchased online or in the tasting room
  • 20% off all purchases of wine by the glass or cider by the pint enjoyed on our patio
  • Free tasting on any visit for the member and three guests
  • Food pairing recommendations with each shipment
  • First access to limited release wines and new vintages
  • Invitations to exclusive wine club member parties
  • Double Loyalty Points earned with each dollar spent

Visit Our Winery Today for Even More Information

Still have a question about the process or vineyards? We highly encourage you to stop by and see them for yourself! Our well-educated staff would be happy to answer any questions and conduct a tasting. Seeing and tasting everything firsthand can be quite a positive experience. So, stop by today (no reservations needed) or check out our wine selection for online purchases. We also sell alternatives to wine such as hard ciders, and we even carry food to help your stay with us even more enjoyable.

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