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BrewVine: Introducing you to Dune Bird Winery, a winery with a twist

There’s nothing quite like a good conversation over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and for this week’s BrewVine Katie Birecki and chief photojournalist Jeremy Erickson introduce us to Dune Bird Winery in Leelanau County where they’re serving up those delicious drinks in a fun, family friendly atmosphere.

“Dune Bird is a collaboration of the unexpected. We didn’t approach this business in the traditional way, and we really wanted to provide the community with kind of a different space. Our passion, first and foremost, is to create a gathering place and to create a place for the community to come together,” Nicole White, owner of Dune Bird Winery, said.

It was a passion for wine, coffee and community that led Bo and Nicole White to take what was once a yak and alpaca farm and turn it into what you see today, a winery with a twist.

“We went all in on this project and that actually meant selling our home and moving on site in an RV with our two little kids,” Nicole said. “And so this has been a family endeavor from the very beginning. So often you see our kids running around on any given day, and we wanted that family first kind of atmosphere to permeate everything.”

Nicole’s love of wine planted the vineyard and curated their wine menu, while Bo’s craving for coffee brought about the espresso bar.

“A lot of guys, they get kind of drug around by their wives begrudgingly to many of these wineries. And believe it or not, I’m not really a big drinker and a big wine lover. But as we started this endeavor, we decided, hey, if we’re going to do this, I’d like to cater to guys like me who, you know, either don’t prefer wine or don’t drink at all. And so we love coffee, so we included the coffee and the food,” Bo White, owner of Dune Bird Winery, said.

Since coffee and wine are the centerpiece to good conversation, Nicole and Bo hope that this extension of their home makes their customers feel at home.

“One of the greatest compliments I heard from a customer is, was last year, our first year ever open. And they sat down they were like, ‘this is so, this feels like my living room, but a lot nicer.’ And that’s really the vibe and the energy that we’re going for. We want this as an extension of our living room, literally and figuratively, and we want the community to feel that warmth and that hospitality,” Nicole said.