About Us:

The Begin family, Robert, Nadine and daughter Marie-Chantal, opened the doors of friendly hospitality in 1993 upon the completion of a French style three room B&B, winery and vineyard estates. As of July 2003, the B&B’s circle of friends has grown considerably when a 15,000 square foot expansion increased the total units available to eleven. Located on a 65-acre estate on Old Mission Peninsula, in one of the most scenic areas of the Great Lakes, the B&B provides a unique destination that combines vineyards and winery, a bed & breakfast, winding roads, fresh air and kind company. Views of East and West Grand Traverse Bays, Power Island, and rolling vineyards abound from each window. Focusing on Michigan wines, we produce Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and other varietals.

Perhaps even more interesting than the magical story of winemaking is the history of the Chateau’s founding couple, Robert and Nadine. Their fascinating tale begins with two previous careers of service to others. As a Catholic diocesan priest for 12 years, Robert worked in his home area of Detroit until a decision was made in 1972 to begin again as a businessman heading a construction business. Nadine had taken a similar path by entering the Felician Sisters in 1950. After earning her Master’s Degree in Home Economics and teaching for 22 years, she too made a decision to seek a different life. Married in 1974, the couple followed Robert’s dream of building a European style winery chateau. Upon completion and opening of the operation, it was clearly evident that the years spent in service to others had molded the Begin’s into the perfect hosts. Their caring and enthusiastic spirit shines through to every visitor and employee of the Chateau, creating the most special and memorable of visits.

While Chateau Chantal was not incorporated until 1991, its history began in December 1983, when Robert and Nadine Begin formed Begin Orchards and purchased 60 acres of cherry orchards on the estate property. Between 1984 and 1991, the Begins cleared much of this land, planted various grapes varieties and purchased additional land. In July 1990, Mr. Begin received a Special Use Permit from the Peninsula Township to operate the Chateau. In June 1991, the Company was incorporated and in 1993 construction of the Chateau was completed. July of 2003 saw the completion of the expansion which added eight B&B units to the original three, and a 2,000 sq. ft. Hospitality Room equipped for executive retreats and events.

Bob Begin Planting Original Vineyard in 1986
Chairman of the Board James Krupka
President & CEO Marie-Chantal Dalese
Winemakers Mark Johnson &
Brian Hosmer

News & Notes

A few of my musings, offered daily, throughout the Chateau, while aspiring to inspire;

"I challenge any to find a greater, more timeless, amalgamation of art and science than the one which is wine..."

"Wine, among consumable goods and within even the most modest of budgets, possesses the uncanny ability to elevate the imbiber from the daily drudgery...thus leveling the field of princes and paupers alike."

Recently featured on a t-shirt while remaining destined to become a bumper sticker:
"The grapes of the world are like the people of the world...they're the same color on the inside."

"It is the where and when, not merely the palate, that should influence generously the choice of wine."

"Most people look worse in a car while looking better on a horse."

That last one is not mine, but combined with the others, should prove well that I've been imbibin'...

Remaining humbly yours,
In Veritas,

~ Bill Autenreith

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15900 Rue de Vin
Traverse City, MI   49686
(231) 223-4110

Tasting Room Hours

Mon-Sat 11-7

Sun 11-6