(Marie-Chantal Dalese, President and CEO of Chateau Chantal, writes about the generational impact of the Chateau on the Old Mission Peninsula, including working with other local farmers to buy and process grapes. -jb)
Farming is often a generational family career, but sometimes farming is a passion that finds individuals later in life. For Chateau Chantal, our history doesn’t begin with the planting of our first grapes, but with a history of service to others. Following years of working in the church, our founders decided to follow a dream of building a European-style winery chateau to host guests and create lifelong memories for them.
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In 1993, my parents completed a French-style three-room B&B, winery, and vineyard estates. Located on a 75-acre estate on Old Mission Peninsula, it is a unique destination that combines vineyards and winery and a bed & breakfast. Chateau Chantal was incorporated in 1991 and has been proud of the incredible impact it has had on Old Mission Peninsula.
What exactly is the impact? Of course, it includes the unique agritourism that comes with being located on the peninsula and the care that comes with it. But it also includes a long list of individuals that Chateau Chantal works with daily to create products and experiences for guests. For example, along with growing our own, our winery purchases grapes from other local farmers, which generates business and income for all parties.
What many people don’t realize is that our businesses do not solely exist for ourselves – several of our farming partners are able to retain their land in agriculture because of the market we create. All of this then provides valuable and enriching experiences for guests to experience agriculture and enjoy our lands.
We’re grateful for all of the farms on Old Mission Peninsula and for the role we play in the community. This January, we will continue our tradition of getting local farmers and their families together to taste wines that were recently crushed for the following season. It is one way to celebrate our network and the impact we have on each other and our community.
(Editor’s Note: As seen in the photo above, some of my brothers’ grapes from Johnson Farms go to Chateau Chantal. Also, my daughter, Marissa, worked for Chateau Chantal right after she graduated from high school. Here’s a picture of her with the Chantal crew: Kyle Brownley, Marie-Chantal Dalese and Bob Begin. -jb)