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Our Roots

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

As you may know, Donna and I took ownership of Mon Ami in June of 2019. Our decision to purchase the business stemmed from our love for the historic building, cellars, and the beautiful surrounding property. We also had concerns that another buyer would choose to commercially develop the surrounding property which in our opinion would destroy the historical nature of the land.

We have sought out and discovered many of the historical truths of this facility. An interesting fact is that the original group of fruit growers who banded together to create this national treasure, named the entity "Catawba Island's Wine Company". In other words, they had the wisdom to view their magnificent creation as the community's wine company, not just theirs. It is this knowledge that has guided our efforts to restore the facility and grounds into something which will be a point of pride for the community.

It was always our intention to create our own wine label called Gideon Owen in honor of the founder of Catawba Island's 2nd winery. We were drawn to this Historic name over 10 years ago, but only recently discovered that we own the center 10 acres of Gideon's original 30-acre vineyard and homestead. We sense more than a simple coincidence here.


1.Establish the first commercial vineyard with wine production on Catawba Island in over 100 years! Thereby taking Catawba Island back to its roots as one of the world's great wine growing regions.

2.Expose and showcase one of America's lost artifacts once again to the

public -- the European-inspired vaulted wine cellars. These wine cellars are second to none in the entire country, and our ancestors deserved recognition for their work.

3. Create a campus environment where our local community and guests can immerse themselves in Catawba Island's history and its agricultural beauty.

4. Help preserve Catawba Island's agricultural green space for our descendants.

While implementing these changes, we realized that we were creating something that was distinctively different from the present-day Mon Ami. It is with the belief that we have decided to rebrand the Mon Ami Historic Restaurant and Winery into Gideon Owen Wine Company. Gideon Owen Wine Company will be composed of several brands -- Tirage Wine Bar and French Market, The Chalet Restaurant, and the Gideon Owen Winery.​

We are confident in our vision but, as with all journeys, hardships will be found along the way. We will need help and support from our community and guests, and we invite all of you to come see our roots. This is the story of a second chance.

And now, the journey begins.

Quintin and Donna Smith

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