Prince Michel 30 Years of Wine Making Excellence!
This year, 2012, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery. It’s hard to believe that just 30 years ago Jean and Sylvian LeDucq came to Madison, Virginia and fell in love with its natural beauty and close resemblance to their beloved France. It was through their vision and appreciation for great wine that Prince Michel came in to being. At that time winemaking in Virginia was in its infancy with only a few pioneers in the industry. Today, Virginia can boast a staggering 200 plus wineries and thousands of acres of grape vines planted and producing internationally award winning wines. Throughout this evolution, Prince Michel has stood as the pinnacle of excellent wine and uncompromised quality. Prince Michel was and remains the most established and respected winery in Virginia, and we are proud to say that our wines are now the best distributed and most recognized in the state.
However, winemaking in Virginia is not a recent phenomenon. Many consider Virginia to be the birthplace of American winemaking. As early as the 17th century, European grape varieties were planted in what we now call Virginia. Third US President Thomas Jefferson continued the quest to establish vitis vinifera in Virginia under the reality that Virginia’s climate and soil are so similar to that of Europe. Creating premium wines in Virginia is a direct result of this close connection.
As the Virginia wine industry grows in production, reputation, and quality, new visionaries take up the commitment to make Virginia wine recognized throughout the world. With the sad loss of our original founder, Jean LeDucq, in 2002, his wife Sylvian realized it was time to transfer ownership to someone who exhibited the same devotion and passion for the area and its wines.
Enter Kristin Swanson Holzman: The vineyard “bug” bit Kristin after purchasing the pristine vines of Ivy Creek Farm. Situated in the Monticello Appellation, Ivy Creek Farm has some of the oldest and highest quality vinifera vines planted in Virginia and throughout the east coast. After selling these exceptional grapes to area wineries and consequently winning numerous gold medals, the option to purchase a reputable, well established winery seemed the logical next step. The strong, steady, and established reputation of Prince Michel Winery made purchasing it a solid opportunity for Kristin.
Kristin brought her talents, vision, and hospitality to Prince Michel in July of 2005 and became one of only a handful of female winery owners in the world. Her enthusiasm and respect of employees, customers, distributors, growers, and vendors is undeniable. Her “business model” is centered around hospitality and the pleasure of a great wine experience. With this model in place, Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery continues and grows successfully now outside of Virginia and into the world market.
In just 30 years, this vision is now a reality of tens of thousands of grape tons which have made over a million bottles of wine which have been sold to thousands of customers by hundreds of employees. Prince Michel’s future is bright and promising!