When Michael was 15 years old and got his first cow, he knew then he wanted to be a farmer. At the age of 17, he became the youngest entrepreneur in the fern (cut foliage) industry when he opened his own Fernery in Deland, Florida. Starting with 3 acres he quickly grew to 31 acres of cut foliage.
After 32 years and some life altering events Mike decided to make a change and take a ride about the country and see what the rest of the world was up to. He was soon approached by several individuals looking to get into the vineyard business. However they needed the help of a good ole Florida boy with Horticulture and farming knowledge. His skills quickly became highly sought after. He soon built Cartecay Vineyards, Engelheim Vineyards, Ellijay River Vineyard and consulted with Chateau Meichtry after injuring his shoulder helping others realize their dreams. He soon came to North Georgia Physical Therapy where Lee was working after having been injured in a car accident herself. She found helping others recover from injury very fulfilling. Mike fell for Lee instantly, however it took Lee a little longer to admit that she was smitten as well. After 5 months of physical therapy Mike finally asked Lee on a date and as they say that was that. Mike’s dream of owning and operating his own vineyard quickly became Lee’s passion as well.
Together they have built their vineyard from the ground up, clearing the land, planting plants, setting posts, running wire, hanging trellis systems, pruning, training, harvesting and finally making their own wines with the help Engelheim Vineyards and Chateau Meichtry that he stills helps with to this day. They have finally realized their dream with the opening of their Tasting Room and the production of wines from their own grapes.