- Ed O’Keefe Jr. travels to Europe with Bill Krauser to survey wine industry.
- Starts European Wine Import Company.
- Ed O’Keefe Jr. sells his Detroit based business.
- Hires Dr. Helmut Becker from Geisenheim, West Germany to do a feasibility study on planting Vinifera grapes in Traverse City on Old Mission Peninsula.
- Chateau Grand Traverse is incorporated.
- The Old Mission Peninsula Winery property is purchased and land contouring and preparing the land for planting begins.
- 3.0 Acre Test Field Planted to assess 100 potential grape varieties
- German Viticulturist, Bernd Philippi, hired to plant initial acreage of 27 acres of Riesling, 17 Chardonnay, and 1 Merlot.
- Construction of Winery building begins.
- Chateau Grand Traverse is the first commercial winery in Northern Michigan producing wines from vinifera grapes. Tasting Room is opened.
- Miles Kharakasevic hired as Winemaker and General Manager.
- Production of local Cherry and Apple wines while waiting for first grape harvest.
- German Winemaker, Roland Pfleger, is hired.
- First commercial grape harvest is picked.
- Best of Show Wine at the Michigan State Fair, 1978 Chardonnay “Sweet Sharon” awarded.
- First wines bottled under the name Chateau Grand Travers and The Grand Traverse Vineyards.
- First Riesling Ice Wine produced.
- Chateau Grand Traverse production 5,000 cases per year.
- “Best Buy Rating” from the International Wine Review in the Gold Medal Category for 1981 Chardonnay.
- Winery experiences difficult financial situation during recession.
- First Vintage of Dry Riesling produced.
- The “e” was added back to the end of Travers due to customer’s continual questioning of the traditional French spelling.
- Mark Johnson hired as Cellarmaster.
- Winemaker, Roland Pfleger returns to his family’s winery in Germany.
- Eddie O’Keefe begins working at the winery after graduating MSU.
- Mark Johnson promoted to Winemaker
- Chateau Grand Traverse sales exceed 20,000 cases annually.
- Ed O’Keefe Jr. establishes Old Mission Peninsula as an officially recognized American Viticulture Appellation (AVA) by the Federal Government.
- 1987 Riesling Ice Wine served at the Inauguration of President George Bush.
- 4 acre Gamay Noir field planted on Old Mission Peninsula.
- Traverse City Cherry wine products introduced.
- Bon Appétit Magazine, “Best U.S. Wines Under $8.00”, 1988 Semidry Riesling Grand Traverse.
- 1989 Dry Riesling served at Michigan Governor John Engler Inauguration
- 6.0 Acre Nelson Road Vineyard Planted (Chardonnay & Riesling).
- Ash from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in Philippines reduces normal sunlight reaching earth’s surface by 10% leading to three years of much cooler than normal weather.
- 1991 Dry Riesling Featured in Wine Spectator Magazine.
- Winemaker, Bernd Croissant begins working at the winery.
- Planted 3.20 Acres Krauser Orchard Vineyard (Chardonnay & Merlot)
- New winery logo developed and implemented. Wines begin to sell in Japan (500 cases per year).
- Planted 3.30 Acres Krauser Pinot Noir on site of original 1974 CGT Test Field.
- 36,700 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- CGT sells Development rights to Agriculture property providing a scenic view shed. 2nd in the State of MI to participate in program.
- 12.0 acre Santucci Vineyard Planted (Riesling, Chardonnay, Gamay Noir, Gewürztraminer)
- Sean apprentices with Roland Pfleger/Weingut Jakob Pfleger in Herxheim am Berg, Germany.
- Winery Tasting Room is Expanded.
- Hard Winter Freeze.
- Sean starts higher wine education at FA Geisenheim in Germany.
- Winter temperature hits -10 F and grape crop is wiped out.
- The Inn at Chateau Grand Traverse is built.
- New Grand Traverse Select Brand Introduced.
- Inn at Chateau Grand Traverse opens.
- 26,500 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- Sean O’Keefe begins working at the winery.
- First Vintage of Whole Cluster Riesling.
- New 9 ton capacity Europress added.
- 2.50 Acre Riesling overlook field (Canyon) planted.
- 4,000 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- Eddie O’Keefe named President of Chateau Grand Traverse.
- 3.9 Acre Fisher/Bella Donna Vnyd Planted (Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris)
- First visit by wine critic Tom Stevenson. CGT listed as a “world-class” producer of Riesling in Sotheby’s Encyclopedia of Wine.
- Planted 2.3 Acres Riesling (a.k.a. Moonscape).
- First Vintage of Ship of Fools.
- Begin using a mechanical harvester. The first in the region.
- First Vintage of Pinot Noir Vin Gris.
- Begin working with OMP grower Lineau/Porchside Vineyards.
- Purchase of Kniss & Ochs properties to plant 22 acres (Baliwick Vineyard).
- Winery Building L3 expanded.
- 3.50 Acres of Chardonnay Replanted to Riesling.
- Begin working with OMP growers Ligon, Lagina, Quinn, Kniss
- 10,380 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- Purchase Zafarana & Steen Vineyards 22 acres of existing vineyards.
- Upgraded to fully automated Mechanical Harvester.
- 8,600 gallons of fermenting tanks added
- Best of Show Gold Los Angeles International Wine Competition, 2006 Edelzwicker.
- Double Gold/Best of Class MI Wine Comp, 2005 Riesling Ice Wine.
- Winery Receiving & New Press Room Expansion.
- First Midwest Planting of Grüner Veltliner at Baliwick Vineyard.
- Chateau Grand Traverse is founding member of International Riesling Foundation.
- First visit to CGT by Riesling expert Stuart Pigott. CGT featured in his book Riesling Weit Weg.
- Chateau Grand Traverse begins to distribute in NYC.
- 21,000 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- Chateau Grand Traverse Launches new Logo and Label design.
- New 20 ton capacity Europress added.
- First Vintage Lot 49 Riesling.
- 49,000 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- Updated Traverse Bay Winery products introduced.
- The Summer That Never Happened = Unusually cool vintage.
- Planted 2.5 Acres of Riesling/Blaufränkisch at Steen Vineyards.
- “Best of Class Award” 2008 Lot 49 Riesling, London International Wine & Spirits Competition.
- “Chairman Award” Unanimous Gold, Riverside International Wine Competition, CA.
- 2007 Gamay Noir Reserve.
- New MBF Wine Bottling line installed with 7o Btl./Min. production capability.
- New Gregoire Mechanical Harvester added.
- 17,250 gallons of fermenting tanks added
- “Best of Class Award” 2009 Lot 49 Riesling & 2008 Riesling Ice Wine, London International Wine & Spirits Competition.
- “Best of Class Gold” 2009 Lot 49 Riesling & 2008 Riesling Ice Wine, San Francisco international Wine Competition.
- 700 Barrel Aging and Storage facility constructed.
- Begin working with OMP grower Jo Roek.
- 2010 Whole Cluster makes Food & Wine top 10 editor’s picks for 2011.
- CGT begins to distribute wine in Chicago, Washington D.C., Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul.
- 11,500 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- Winery opens a 14,000 Sq. Foot wine storage and shipping facility in Traverse City.
- Eddie O’Keefe named Chairman, WineAmerica.
- 2010 Lot 49 Riesling amazes wine critics at blind tasting of the world’s top Rieslings at 2012 Riesling Symposium in Melbourne, Australia.
- 2010 Lot 49 Riesling is Jancis Robinson’s Wine of the Week (2/10/12).
- Begin working with OMP grower Dean Johnson (Renegade Vineyard).
- 19,000 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- Chateau Grand Traverse surpasses 100,000 cases in annual production.
- Wines sold in 11 states and 2 countries.
- Chateau Grand Traverse #7 overall selling wine Brand in State of Michigan.
- 38 Year-Round, Full Time Employees.
- Replanted 1.2 acres of Steen Gewürztraminer with Riesling.
- CGT recognized as “Superstar” Michigan winery in Jancis Robinson/Linda Murphy’s book American Wine.
- CGT begins to distribute wines in Wisconsin.
- 4,400 gallons of fermenting tanks added.
- Chateau Grand Traverse celebrates its 40th year.
- CGT Tasting Room is remodeled, outdoor patio added.
- Vice President Sean O’Keefe leaves position to become head winemaker at Villa Mari Vineyards.
- Named one of the 101 Best Wineries in America by The Daily Meal.
- Rebranding of Grand Traverse Select label
- New Reserve red wine label introduced
- Etcetera White Blend wins Best of Class and Double Gold at Int’l Eastern Wine Comp.
- Begin partnership “Wines of the Great Outdoors” with Michigan DNR