Dave and Jane were introduced to Leelanau County in the late 1980’s when they stayed at Fountain Point Resort on South Lake Leelanau. They fell in love with the beauty of the area and its wines as they vacationed annually at Fountain Point. When Dave retired from the automotive industry in 2004, they moved to Leland.
Dave began pursuing a career in the wine industry partially due to his and Jane’s love of wine and because of their desire to build a small business dedicated to producing high quality wines (in particular, high quality red wines) from vineyards that they owned and nurtured. After working in a local Vineyard and Winery for 6 months, Dave decided to “start from scratch” and purchased farmland they knew was ideal for growing grapes with its North-South slope high up in the rolling hills of Leelanau County. They now have 21 acres of predominatly (99%) Vinfiera with half the acreage devoted to red varietals (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Merlot).
Since the Vineyard was located off a seasonable road and therefore not easily accessible for customer traffic, they found an ideal piece of property on M204, the State Road crossing Leelanau Peninsula and on the waterway called "The Narrows", which connects North and South Lake Leelanau, for their Tasting Room. They created “Boathouse Vineyards” incorporating into the name the boathouse from the Tasting Room property with the Vineyard that they were soon to establish at the vineyard site.
Since they do not anticipate being large enough to be able to employ a full time winemaker and staff, they utilize French Road Cellars as their winemaking facility. This has worked well since the facility is less than a mile from the Vineyard allowing for frequent interaction between Dave and the winemaking staff.