Spencer Stegenga’s disarming friendliness might fool you into thinking he’s just another guy at the winery. In reality, Spencer is the proud co-owner of Bowers Harbor Vineyards along with his mom Linda, and his entrepreneurial drive has transformed the quiet gentleman’s farm into the thriving winery it is today.
Born and raised on Old Mission Peninsula, Spencer grew up surrounded by the beauty of rolling hills, abundant orchards, and jewel-toned sunsets that are a part of life on the peninsula. Four years of study at Hillsdale College earned him a degree in Marketing, and two years in Vail, CO, convinced him that Michigan is truly his home.
Having worked side-by-side with his parents and two sisters to plant the first vines in 1991, Spencer returned to Old Mission Peninsula in the mid-1990’s eager to invest his energy and passion into producing wines that reflect the distinctive character of this unique appellation. By 1997, he was functioning as CEO, vineyard manager, and director of wine-making for BHV (along with about 20 other hats to wear, none of them very glamorous!!). More acreage was acquired on adjacent land, and after planting cover crops and preparing for additional planting, a variety of vines including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Grigio were added. Spencer named the first vineyard addition after his grandfather, Harold Langley, and in 1999 proposed to Erica Schoenner on the promising land just to the south, thus birthing the Erica Vineyard. His commitment to producing exceptional Northern Michigan red wines is apparent in his 30-month aging program and his discriminating selection of French Oak barrels.
Spencer continues his pursuit of excellence in the vineyard, evidenced by various land stewardship recognitions and the designation of BHV as an Environmentally Verified Farm. His resolve to rely on time-tested wine production practices, coupled with his willingness to push the boundaries, take risks, and have fun riding the learning curve are what keep BHV wines respected, fascinating and appealing to connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.
Bowers Harbor Vineyards has maintained that elusive balance of family farm and thriving business by maintaining an atmosphere of gracious hospitality. The Stegenga’s invite you to visit and experience these unparalleled wines, a gift from their home to yours.
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