"The Tip of the Mitt" AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. This Michigan wine region is approximately 2,760 square miles in area. It includes all or part of Alpena, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet and Presque Isle counties. These are counties that are located at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula, north of the established winemaking AVAs grouped around Traverse City.
Winemakers and grape growers in northern Michigan celebrated the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau's approval of The Tip of the Mitt American Viticultural Area in July 2016. The AVA is bordered by Grand Traverse Bay, Little Traverse Bay, and Lake Michigan to the west; the Straits of Mackinac to the north; and Lake Huron to the east.
The expansion of Michigan's AVAs from four to five was a significant milestone, as Tip of the Mitt is the state's first new AVA in nearly 30 years.
The soils in the area are comprised mainly of coarse-textured glacial till (a mixture of clay, sand, gravel, and boulders). The soils within The Tip of the Mitt AVA have much higher levels of organic matter and water-retention capacity than those to the south, so one challenge of wine growing in the area is to control moisture accumulation and the vigor of the vine canopy. A positive aspect of the soils within the AVA is that they heat slowly in the spring, which effectively delays bud break until the greatest risk of spring frost has passed.
The term "Tip of the Mitt" refers to a common nickname used for the area, referring to the mitten-shaped landmass of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.