Our Story, St. Ambrose Cellars:
We started keeping bees with 2 hives almost 32 years ago and quickly became full time beekeepers in the early 1980's. We named our company Sleeping Bear Farms, inspired by the awesome Sleeping Bear Dunes, which is now a national park.
As beekeepers having access to an almost unlimited supply of honey, making mead was a natural course to follow. Some early batches made for home use were good and that was enough to pursue a life-long quest to make great mead. It wasn't long before we were making mead for our beekeeping staff and friends. In 2010, an accident in mixing one of our creamed honey spreads pushed us into action. Time to make â€œlemonade from lemons.â€ The idea of starting a commercial winery was entertained and we obtained our licenses. We purchased larger stainless fermenting vessels, pumps, chilling equipment, and filters. That mis-mixed creamed honey batch became our first bottling of Razzmatazz and St. Ambrose Cellars was born.
Starting with a few products made from our honey we entered the marked locally, selling to retailers in the 4 county area. Success in the local region and momentum increased in the second year of production. Investments in larger fermenting tanks and additional staff followed. In our second year we expanded our offerings from 3 to 6 products and started marketing statewide. While statewide sales grew, we began producing fine wines from grapes grown by local Michigan producers. By aligning ourselves with talented local winemakers we began winning awards in national and international competitions. In 2014 (our fourth year,) with the opening of the new production facility and beautiful tasting room, we entered another period of increased growth and expansion. The popularity of our tasting room and resulting rise in production from the new facility have been exciting. We have increased our offerings from a few to over 25 products. Our range of products covers our signature straight meads, mead blends and a full line of white and red wines, sweet to dry. Red hot in the market right now is our line of carbonated session meads on tap and in bottles in our tasting room and many local establishments. Coming soon â€“ baggot (mead with hops) and beer!
The proof is in the tasting. Stop by and judge for yourself.