Mike’s passion for wine started while he was stationed in Central Europe as an Air Force Officer. This allowed Mike to travel throughout Europe trying wines, experiencing wine tourism, and learning all about wine culture and the distinctive tastes the same grape expresses in different places. A chance test at a perfume factory in Paris led to the discovery that his sense of smell was much more advanced that anyone else’s in the room.
After an honorable discharge from the USAF in 1994, Mike moved to New Hampshire. In 2002, Mike first started planting a few grapevines on his property, which accelerated to several hundred per year from 2006-2018. Currently there are approximately 1450 vines on the property where Mike lives and works. While working in high tech, Mike read everything he could about growing grapes and making wines. In 2016 Mike left high tech to run the winery and vineyard business full time. The following year he started entering wine contests and winning medals. Mike makes all the wines for both Appolo Vineyards and Birch Wood Vineyards labels (since 2016). He holds a B.S. from Wilkes College, PA in Engineering Management and M.S. in Computer Information Systems from Boston University. He has no formal wine or viticulture education or degree.