"The Right People with the Right Materials, using the Right Equipment, make Damn good wine" -Mark Young
We had a primary goal when we started The Winery @ Young Farms: To prove that quality wine could be produced in Central Michigan. We planted cold-hardy hybrid grape varietals and upon those maturing, converted Mark's "Man Cave" into a winery and tasting room. With our background in healthcare, Mark a pharmacist and Abby a nurse, we knew this to be true: to produce a quality product, you need the right people, right materials and right equipment.
The Right People
Owner- Mark Young: If there is one thing Mark doesn't do well, it's delegate. He personally cares for the vineyard and does all the wine-making. "Every winemaker wants perfect grapes, but I could never find them so I decided to grow them myself."
Lady Boss- Abby Young: If Mark is the gears of Young Farms, Abby is the grease. She picks up all the slack and is basically the swiss army knife of the operation.
Farm Operations Manager-Brady Flachs: From the tasting room to blueberry production, Brady is Mark's cousin and now our right hand man. Mark and Brady grew up together selling Grandpa Eugene's corn and now we are so lucky to have his help with this venture!
Tasting Room Staff:
Michele Young: Mark and Abby's sister-in-law, Michele is a wine aficionado who has tasted wine in Italy, France, Napa, Sonoma and points in between. She is one of the "Original 4" sommeliers here at the winery. A retired English teacher, she loves to educate patrons about wine and tasting experience.
Terri Garner: A good friend of Mark and Abby's, Terri is one of the "Original 4" sommeliers who has been in our tasting room since 2016! Her warm hospitality and friendly demeanor makes her a priceless addition, and also to her own elementary school classroom where she teaches the rest of the year.
Tracy Snyder: Tracy is also one of the "Original 4" in our tasting room. She warmly welcomed Abby to a playgroup in 2012 and Abby warmly welcomed Tracy to our tasting room knowing her humorous charm and friendly smile would bring our customers the relaxed atmosphere we are known for.
Katie Johnson: Katie joined our team in 2017. Her extensive background in hospitality made her an easy choice, and her humorous candor is what brings our customers back. Even when the going gets tough, she can always make her coworkers laugh and bring an extra enjoyable experience to her customers.
Olivia Hamlin: Olivia also joined our team in 2017 and quickly became a favorite to our customers in the tasting room. She loves to share her knowledge about Young Farms (and Michigan) in our tasting room, leaving her customers with a wide berth of knowledge about our facility. You will find her in her elementary school classroom where she teaches when the winery closes.
Abbey Rowland: Mark and Abby's niece, "Lil Ab" has been with us since our first season. We have enjoyed watching her progress from bussing tables to full out sommelier in the tasting room. Her warm and fun personality instantly puts our customers at ease. She is currently studying to be a Physician's Assistant.
Marie Chapman: Marie is a part of our family (literally married to Mark's cousin) and is also now a member of our winery family! Careful, if you blink, you might miss her as Marie is an avid runner, and has completed countless races ranging from 5k to marathons. In the off season, Marie is a social worker in our area schools.
Pattie Dzuris: Pattie became a member of our winery family in 2018. Always a team player, Pattie will jump in (even on her days off) to help if we need her. She also is an avid runner and has even qualified for the notorious Boston Marathon. Her warm personality and hospitality background make her a treasured employee here @ Young Farms.
Katie Sollman: Katie joined our winery tasting room staff in 2018, where her fun personality and warm smile makes even the shyest of patrons right at home. Katie spends her time the rest of the year as an agriculture teacher.
Marissa Richter: Marissa came to us in our first fall season, and easily fit into our tasting room as a sommelier. Marissa has a great knowledge of our wines. When she isn't at our winery she also owns and runs The Massage Spot and Fitness Center just down the road from the winery!
Quinton Merrill: "Q" joined our team in 2020 and we don't know how we ever got along without him. His humor, smile, laugh and ability to see the positive in all situations got us through this 2020 season feeling a little better and a little brighter. Our customers love his "can do" attitude and we love having him around.
Emily Gandy: Emily also joined our team in 2020 and her organization skills, level head, and winning smile make her a priceless treasure on our team. We miss her as she headed off to her freshman year at Eastern Michigan University at the end of August, but anticipate her return to the tasting room next year!
Pinot: Pinot is the official winery dog of The Winery @ Young Farms. He doesn't like to go far from Abby, but loves to watch over the workings of the winery and tasting room during our winery season.
The Right Materials
Grapes: Every varietal wine is named for the grape, if there was no chardonnay grape, there would be no chardonnay wine. Great wine starts in the vineyard, so at Young Farms all of the wine we make starts with grapes that we grow. We do purchase grapes, if necessary, sourcing grapes from Arrowhead Vineyards in Michigan and the Dry Creek Ranch in California.
Blueberries: Our Bertha's Blue blueberry wine is crafted with 100% Young Farms berries. All hand-picked and sorted. The Winery @ Young Farms is one of the few wineries in the world that make estate-produced blueberry wine.
Glass: Our wine bottles were manufactured in France and our stemware and growlers are made in the USA.
Corks: We use Diam corks manufactured in France and guaranteed to be TCA-free.
The Right Equipment
Crusher/Destemmer: Our Zambelli Crusher/Destemmer and must pump was built in Italy and made of stainless steel.
Press: Our Lancman water-bladder press is Slovenian-made stainless steel.
Pump: Our flexible impeller pump has an Italian head coupled to an American made inverter-drive motor.
Tanks: Our tanks were custom made for The Winery @ Young Farms in North Central Italy. They are high grade polished stainless steel and variable capacity.
Barrels: We use 100% French Oak medium toast barrels that have been re-coopered in the United States.
What does all this mean?
When you get the right people and give them the right materials and equipment, they make really good wine. Come out and try it yourself, we know you'll be pleasantly surprised.
-Mark and Abby Young
All of our wines are produced, cellared and bottled at our facility in Mecosta, Michigan