Grape and Grain Tours

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, November 21, 2013

Grape and Grain Tours travel Michiana in a tour bus for parties and other events. Submitted photo

Grape and Grain Tours travel Michiana in a tour bus for parties and other events. Submitted photo

Over the past few years, the wineries of Southwest Michigan have become a big draw for tourists from surrounding regions, especially Northern Indiana and Chicago. A new industry was born: Tours of the various wineries via motor-coach.

“For years we would watch tour buses come in and out of the Round Barn Winery every weekend, and every weekend we’d look at each other and say ‘we can do that,’” said Matt Moersch, whose family owns Round Barn Winery and Free Run Cellars.

After many conversations about the details, a partnership between Moersch and Kim and Grant Knuth was born.

The result was Grape and Grain Tours.

In an effort to differentiate their company from other tours, Moersch and the Knuths decided to offer a number of services that others do not. And, although their tour service may appear at first blush to cater more to tourists, they offer some options that will appeal specifically to residents of Southwest Michigan.

So, what makes Grape and Grain Tours different?

“We’re unique because we showcase distilleries, wineries and breweries — all three. Other companies only visit wineries,” Kim Knuth said.

There are so many establishments to choose from when planning a tour that Grape and Grain offers two different tours: one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Saturday’s six-hour tour includes stops at Journeyman Distillery, Greenbush Brewery, The Round Barn Public House and the Round Barn Winery. Sunday’s five-hour tour includes visits to Tapestry Brew House, The Round Barn Public House, Free Run Cellars and the Round Barn Winery.

“The reason we chose these destinations was simple and can be summed up in one word — ‘unique,’” Kim said. “We wanted to give our customers an experience they wouldn’t forget, and we felt these places were some of the best.”

Another difference is that clients can charter the bus for weekday tours and choose the specific locations that they’d like to visit. Kim said that Grape and Grain would even make arrangements to pick up and drop off clients at the location of their choice. (Weekend tours currently start in New Buffalo at two pick-up locations: the Harbor Grand Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites.)

The weekday charters also cost less than the weekend tours. While tickets for the Saturday and Sunday tours are $50 per person, the weekday charters cost a total of $450 for up to 12 people. Broken down, that is only $37.50 per person. Kim notes that the cost is pretty good for an all-day event, with charters lasting six hours.

“These prices do not include tasting fees. Tasting fees and flights range from $5 to $14 depending on location,” said Kim.

Kim suggested that people consider a Grape and Grain charter when they are making their holiday party plans.

“It’s also great for bachelor and bachelorette parties,” Kim said.

And she is happy to make up memory gift baskets for each of the clients, including corks and other little souvenirs from the day’s activities.

While winter might not seem like a prime time for winery tours, Saturday tours are already booked up through mid-December. Some Sundays are still available, as are weekdays. And, as the Grape and Grain website points out, wintertime is a great time to get out of the cold and visit the warm and inviting cellars, breweries and distilleries nestled in the rolling countryside of Southwest Michigan.

More information and reservations are available on the Grape and Grain Tours website: