A Leelanau Winery Inspired by Life in “The County”
French Valley Vineyard and its Tasting Room are located in the heart of this wondrous Leelanau Peninsula slightly north of Cedar Michigan. Being just a few minutes from the natural temperature regulation of “The Great Blue” Lake Michigan is also an asset to vine survival through our sometimes “Polar Vortex” winters. The unique soils are perfect for growing grapes which are used to produce french-style boutique fine wines from our estate grown varietals. These varieties have come to include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Frontenac Gris, and Marquette.
Our little gem is nestled among the unique topography created by a passing glacier 10,000 years ago and has a long history of farming.
Ushering in the 21st century Dr. Stephen Kozelko and Pam Leonard acquired the 75 acre orchard which was at the end of it’s productivity along with The Barn. With many many hours of blood, sweat, and sometimes tears they cleared the land and planted the first 5 acres of their favorite French variety grapes in the spring of 2000. This hard work and perseverance paid off in 2003 with their first harvest. The vintage was carefully crafted by our present Winemaker Charlie Edson and would lay the foundation for what many connoisseurs would come to consider the “best red wines this side of the Leelanau Peninsula”.
A New Vision
Leland Michigan local John Heekin and his wife Lynn fell in love with French Valley Vineyard while attending a family event at The Barn. The sweeping views from the second story of the completely restored centennial barn make it hard to leave. While you’re here look up into the sky and notice the carefully placed bat houses, bird homes, and even honey bee hives which have come to call our valley their home. John’s passion and dream of owning a farm and vineyard came to fruition at French Valley Vineyard and we can’t wait to share it with you.
We are happy to announce that our amazing winemaker Charlie Edson and his apprentice Blake Lougheed have stayed on board and will continue the painstakingly hand crafted high quality and traditional french wine styles our loyal fans have come to know and appreciate. Charlie holds a PhD of Oenology and was one of the first winemakers in the region. His expertise and love for winemaking is apparent in our wines, as they have won countless awards over the years.
Let’s not forget our facility manager Robert (Bert) Walters, who has been caring for the vineyard since 2009, will also continue to expand his role on the farm. His happy go lucky kind soul and love for nature has reflected onto the grapevines. He is looking forward to combining forces with Fvv’s Tasting Room veteran Julie Lopata who will use her attention to detail and sparkling personality to debut our newly created onsite facilities.
Visit French Valley
Guests will be invited to explore the vineyard, enjoy the outside patio, cozy up to a bonfire, star gaze and watch the sunset while enjoying their estate grown wines. It’s always nice to see where and how your glass of wine came from.Visit Us