A Taste of Traverse City, the Cherry Capital of the World

A Taste of Traverse City, the Cherry Capital of the World

Located in Michigan’s Fruit Belt, Traverse City holds the title of the Cherry Capital of the World!

It sits in an area known for its diverse fruit production and earned a reputation for producing high-quality cherries.

Traverse City has the natural advantages of an ideal climate and soil for growing cherries in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Farmers began planting cherry trees in the mid-19th century. And it quickly became one of the primary crops grown.

The cherry orchards in Traverse City produce millions of pounds of cherries annually. And are shipped across the U.S. and exported to other countries. In fact, Traverse City supplies 75% of the world’s tart cherries!

The National Cherry Festival

The first National Cherry Festival in Traverse City was held in 1925. And is the most renowned cherry festival in the U.S. 

Celebrated annually. The National Cherry Festival celebrates the region’s cherry industry by showcasing the community’s farming heritage.

The beauty of the Cherry Festival is it’s deeply rooted in the community. It relies on the support of volunteers, local businesses, and organizations. You not only get to enjoy amazing cherries, but you also experience the warmth and hospitality of Traverse City. 

The National Cherry Festival lasts a week, taking place from the last week of June to the first week of July. And it features a variety of events and activities for all ages and interests. Like the Cherry Royale Parade that starts the Festival and the Grand Royale Parade that ends the Festival. There is also entertainment from local and national artists at different venues. 

You’ll also experience:

  • Cherry pie-eating contests
  • Cherry pit spitting contests
  • Cherry pie baking competitions
  • Air shows
  • Carnival rides & games
  • Children’s activities (like face painting)

And don’t forget to stop at the vendors to sample and purchase a variety of cherry products from cherry jams and pies to salsas and wines. You can also enjoy artisan vendors showcasing their cherry-themed crafts, artwork, and products.

Cherries and Rove Winery at Gallagher Estate

Gallagher Estate has deep roots in cherries. 

Creighton is part of a multi-generational cherry farm. He spent his summers working the family cherry orchard with his father and 9 siblings. Not to mention the extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

Our kids are now the 6th generation of Gallaghers to farm cherries!

Many of our vineyards sit in soil that used to be cherry orchards. And though we focus our attention on grapes and wine, cherries will always be an important part of our history. Right now, we farm about 35 acres of cherries. 

And we hope to always have a few cherry orchards. Even if just for nostalgia.  

July is a very special time of year for our family. We get to spend time with our kids and have them work alongside us as we harvest the cherries. 

We work together as a family to get to the finish line after many long days and weeks working around Mother Nature. Although harvest is always a little grueling, there is something rewarding about stopping everything else and just focusing on our farm, being one with the land and in tune with nature. 

It is both a tremendous privilege and responsibility to take care of a generational farm that holds so much of our local history. We think of ourselves as stewards of the land and want to always leave our land better than we found it.  

Come enjoy the taste of the Cherry Capital of the World at Rove Winery!

Many of our red wines express the flavor of cherries – a nod to the land’s history. And a great way to celebrate your time at the National Cherry Festival.

Sip a glass of wine in our tasting room sitting at the highest point of Leelanau Peninsula and enjoy a beautiful sunset. 

You won’t be disappointed. 

Slainte!


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