Riesling rising, and more, in Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan

— -- The state's 56 wineries — six opened in the past year — are spread across Michigan along four wine trails, but most of the best grapes are grown near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and its bays. Top wineries are positioning themselves as small but key players in the Riesling renaissance that is taking hold across the country, and nearly 1 million visitors will arrive this year to sample the offerings. The most popular wine region, because of its prime setting along Lake Michigan, is the Leelanau Peninsula, home to about 20 wineries, 16 of which have public tasting rooms.

Be sure to stop at:Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay (blackstarfarms.com). In addition to wines, it also offers tastings of fruit brandies and artisanal cheeses and has a B&B inn. L. Mawby in Suttons Bay (lmawby.com) is the area's sparkling-wine specialist. Forty-Five North Vineyard in Lake Leelanau (fortyfivenorth.com) is putting the finishing touches on a reassembled 120-year-old barn to house its tasting room. And Shady Lane Cellars in Suttons Bay (shadylanecellars.com) showcases its wines in a fieldstone tasting room on a 150-acre estate.

Restaurant featuring area wines: Since 1923, locals have flocked to The Bluebird Restaurant in Leland (231-256-9081; leelanau.com/bluebird) for whitefish and perch, and libations at the 100-seat bar.

Suggested lodging: The luxurious beachside Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor (231-334-5100; thehomesteadresort.com) occasionally stages wine-themed weekends that include visits to wineries, tastings and dinners.

Nearby attractions:Lake Michigan/West Grand Traverse Bay and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offer sugar-white beaches, and art lovers flock to galleries in the villages of Leland, Suttons Bay and Glen Arbor.

Information: lpwines.com; michiganwines.com