This beautiful building and wine cellars were built in 1842, with 2 foot thick walls constructed entirely from “Catawba
stone,” local Limestone that is natural in the soil here and the surrounding Islands. It was a coop when originally built for
all the local winemaker’s and known as Catawba Island’s Wine Company. Gideon Owen, the man, was actually the
second winemaker on the Island and also had a private wine cellar that is partially under land that the Smith family own.
Catawba Island’s wine company went out of business in the late 1800’s due to many factors such as the first great
depression and stayed out of wine business through prohibition. It wasn’t until the late 1930’s that an Austrian-
Hungarian man bought it and named it Mon Ami, claiming he had the French Secret method of making Champagne. He
unfortunately ran Gideon Owen out of business.