Leelanau Ticker: Dune Bird Takes Flight

Dune Bird Takes Flight iEmily Betz Tyra of the Leelanau Ticker visited us in December shortly after we opened. Her feature New Dune Bird Winery (And Espresso Bar) Takes Flight Near Northport says in part:

“It’s been a wild ride since we bought the project in the spring and started renovating what many remember as the old Gills Pier Winery turned Gills Pier Ranch,” says Dune Bird managing partner/owner Nicole White.

Nicole and Bo White along with their young family purchased the 53-acre yak and alpaca farm between Leland and Northport with plans to revive its winery/tasting room roots (the property is also home to a 20-year old vineyard) and create “a new hangout spot” for Leelanau County.

Explains White, “What propelled us to venture into this uncharted territory was a desire to create a unique gathering space in this area of Leelanau County, where there just isn’t much. We also felt like there had to be others who would appreciate the same things we wanted: a place open year-round with later hours, geared just as much toward the local as the tourist, a place that has really comfortable chairs, good lighting, offers small hot plates…and isn’t centered just around alcohol.”

Dune Bird serves both wine and coffee drinks and “has that ‘going out’ feel,” shares White, “but also is just as warm and inviting to those who don’t drink. Just one of the many ironies of us buying a winery is that Bo doesn’t even drink.”

Indeed, she notes they do not have family roots in the industry, nor experience in farming, and likens the leap into vineyard and winery operations to “learning from a firehose. We have been fortunate to be surrounded by a tight community of wineries who have been so collaborative, encouraging, and supportive.”

Read on for more in the Ticker.