The owner of Chateau de Leelanau Vineyard and Winery, Dr. Roberta Kurtz, is pleased to announce that she is selling her winery business to Cherry Bay Orchards and a group of second generation fruit growers. This transaction marks the first winery sale in Leelanau County. The parties’ initial acquaintance began when Dr Kurtz purchased an adjoining farm to Cherry Bay. It further developed over several years as Cherry Bay cared for the cherry orchards on that land. Dr. Kurtz stated, “Selling Chateau de Leelanau to my fruit growing neighbors gives me a lot of satisfaction. After 20 years and a tremendous amount of sweat equity, selling the winery operation has been a difficult decision, but family needs and professional commitments have made it necessary.”
Second generation fruit growers, Matt Gregory, Mark Miezio, Roger Veliquette, and Andrew Gregory are looking forward to expanding on the traditions of the award winning Chateau de Leelanau Vineyard and Winery. The new owners are expressing grateful appreciation to Dr. Kurtz for extending them the opportunity to develop the winery further. “Taking the helm of one of northern Michigan’s oldest wineries offers us many challenges,” said Andrew Gregory “and the fact that we can build on traditions as well as bring new ideas to fruition is exciting.”
The new owners expressed their enthusiasm for being part of something that helps to achieve community goals focused on sustainability and growth. “The positive economic contribution that viticulture and wine making add to the tourist and agricultural industry is definitely noticeable in the Traverse area” according to Roger Veliquette “and we want to be part of that.”
The winery staff will continue to welcome the public, Thursdays through Saturdays, at its tasting room located at the corner of Hilltop Road and M22 in Leelanau County. Wines made from Riesling, Chardonnay, Bianca, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Regent are available to sample and purchase. Transferring of ownership will be completed upon appropriate licensing of the new owners.