Meet Our Family
Leigh & Connie Schmidt Owners, Winemaker & World Traveler
A native of Ohio, Leigh Schmidt met & fell in love with Connie (Bichler) when the two were attending college. They have two children, Soren (Beka) & Emily (Christian) and three grand-children, Harrison, Olive & Jude.
Leigh, a long time home winemaker, amassed quite the following of friends and family who wanted to get their hands on his coveted wines. So after retiring from teaching, Leigh and Connie decided to open Leigh's Garden Winery. Most often you will find Leigh working in the cellar, vineyard or even on occasion behind the bar always with a smile. Connie helps from time to time serving at special events help in the tasting room, but spends most of her time as a member of several social groups, volunteering and traveling the world.
Leigh's drink of choice is a
Connie's drink of choice is a nice, dark dry red wine.
Carrie Bartel Tasting Room Manager & Proud Yooper
Carrie began working for Leigh and Connie in the early years of the winery as a server for occasional special events, but left for several years to work out of the area. She returned to Leigh's as the Tasting Room Manager in August 2015.
Carrie lives in Escanaba with her longtime partner in crime, Andy. She is the co-owner of Stateside Souvenirs, a state-themed souvenir company and is passionate when it comes to encouraging tourism in the Upper Peninsula. Carrie has a creative spirit and wears her creativity well. (Literally, wearing her artwork in the form necklaces and other jewelry she's made from reclaimed objects.)
Carrie's drink of choice is just about anything made with Grey Goose Vodka.
The Leigh's Garden Winery runs smoothly not only because of the four individuals listed above, but because of a whole team, often behind the scenes, who are passionate about seeing Leigh's Garden Winery succeed. They are all listed and photographed below.