“And so we drink the heart of agriculture & so it is we are sustained.” – Larry Mawby
Larry Mawby started planting our estate vineyard in 1976, making it one of the oldest commercial vineyards in Northern Michigan. The original Vignoles vines are still producing wines today. Our estate Chardonnay was started from cuttings in the early 80’s before Chardonnay plants were readily available in Michigan. We currently have 14 acres of wine grapes planted on the Mawby Elm Valley Road estate. We farm an additional 13 acres spread between two farms in Leelanau County. We support local growers by purchasing fruit from multiple Leelanau County farms, as well as other Northwest and Southwest Michigan grape growers. California and Washington State supply the remaining fruit to complete our wine portfolio and achieve the desired flavor profile in the finished products. Wine style informs our choice of varietal, site, source, and fermentation method. We are committed to a high quality standard, we work with growers and producers with customized practices that meet our strict requirements.
We strive to be responsible farmers and land stewards. Our farm is part of The Leelanau Conservancy’s Farmland Protection, which guarantees the farm will be protected from development forever. The farm is also verified through MAEAP (Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program) which certifies farms that use practices to minimize agricultural pollution. Our pest management decisions are developed using Integrated Pest Management techniques. We use economically viable strategies that are the least hazardous to people, our property and the environment, yet still help prevent economic damage from pests. This includes cultural practices such as planting grape varieties with resistance and tolerance to pests and employing mechanical methods, chemical controls, and biological controls to help reduce pest pressure. Additionally the majority of our planted acreage is dry farmed, meaning those acres are not irrigated.
We are proud of our agricultural roots. We strive to farm our land responsibly with a focus on growing quality wine grapes. The future will always challenge us with a changing climate and extreme weather events all the while informing us on what varieties we should grow, how we should grow them, and what styles of sparkling wine we can create from the fruits of our lands.