After selling our previous business in 2005, we (that is, Victoria and Dan Hogue) decided to pursue our lifetime dream of a vineyard and winery. We considered several areas on the West Coast, but finally decided that the Niagara region of New York State was the best place to produce fine wines from the classic European wine grapes of Germany and Northern France. We found a 50-acre nursery and shrub farm that was available on the south shore of Lake Ontario, and purchased it in 2005.
Our farm was covered with thousands of nursery plants, so we went to work to dig those and sell them, freeing up space to plant our vineyards. We planted our first few acres in the spring of 2006, and finally in the fall of 2009 harvested our first substantial quantity of grapes.
We also started work in 2006 on a building to become our home and eventually the winery. We modeled the building on a French wine chateau. It remains a work in progress, but the house part of the building was finally ready for occupancy in the winter of 2008/2009, and we moved out of the trailer we had been living in since 2006 into our new vineyard-themed home. Since we are doing as much of the work ourselves as we can, it is a slow process, but progress continues to be made!
Since we had grapes to harvest and no winery, we converted one of the old nursery buildings into a winery and tasting room, and opened for business in the winter of 2009/2010 with our first three wines.