In the spring of 2007, Michael was flying with a friend over some of Michael’s property. Michael expressed the desire to plant a vineyard and he wondered if the land below would be suitable. The fellow with him said that he knew someone researching wine grapes, and he put Michael and Dave in touch with each other.
Michael and Dave met for the first time in April, 2007. They discussed their dreams for this venture. Dave said that the most important consideration was the site. After discussing various sites, Dave said that the best site in the valley was near Sirdar, above Duck Lake. He said that he didn’t know who owned it, but that if they wanted to go ahead on a vineyard project, they would have to buy it. Michael asked Dave to describe the site, which Dave did. To Dave’s surprise, Michael said, “I own it!”
Dave and Margaret Basaraba
Dave Basaraba comes from a background of Eastern European farmers. He and his wife, Margaret, moved to the Creston Valley in 1988 to farm. For a number of years, Dave grew alfalfa seed in the Bonners Ferry area, and then berries and horticulture crops in the Creston Area. In 1999, Dave started exploring the possibility of growing vinifera vines in the valley. There was not a lot of information as to whether or not those vines would grow successfully here. Dave planted a test vineyard of 700 vines in the Canyon area. After 7 years of data, it was determined the right varieties would work well on the right sites.
Michael and Mary Wigen
Michael Wigen was born in the Creston Valley into a third generation lumber family. Michael was president and owner of Wynndel Box and Lumber until 2010. His passions are aircraft and wine. Michael was and aerobatic pilot and was sponsored by Shell Oil. He also flew in airshows around North America. It was at one of these airshows that he met his wife Mary.
His love of wine came from his mother. When most young people only knew cheap jug wines, Michael cut his teeth on fine burgundies.