Our grandparents, Peter (Pete) and Augusta (Gusi) Brengman, were Detroit area hospitality celebrities. Pete operated the famous Continental Bowl for three decades. Grandma Gusi served as queen of our large Catholic immediate family. Her daily routine would begin each day with mass and then off for an 8-hour shift to lead the kitchen crew at our family's 'Captain' restaurants.
Our love for hospitality and sharing the finer things can surely be traced through our DNA. We were firmly taught that hospitality is both a human virtue and a vocation demanding that people that be simultaneously skilled, compelling, and fascinating individuals.
Our staff are people who care about fine wine, the history and practices of which are all important for Brengman Bros. vineyard and cellar.
Rob 'Keeper of the Oyster Shucker' received his bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the Detroit College for Creative Studies in 1982. He and Joni married in 1989, soon after settling in Traverse City to raise their two sons. The outward thinking type rarely with time for small talk, he openly details his experiences while wanting to know the ideas others. Skills acquired at his day job helped in the comfortable layouts for the vineyard and tasting room although "wine is the star of the show; quality grapes and wine underpin our work."
Areas of responsibility: Vineyard, Cellar and Marketing
Ed 'The Schmoozer' received his bachelor’s in Business Administration from Central Michigan U. in 1979. After 15 years managing the family's successful Captain's restaurant, he helped Chris in her audiology practice until shifting over to the winery. The traditional man of hospitality is detail-oriented, quick to share his family's history yet curious enough to ask of yours, a talker with a personality made for TV. "Working with family can be challenging but it's more a calling than work. We like hosting and wine goes to the soul making hospitality easier."
Areas of responsibility: Hospitality and Sales
Matthew started working in the vineyard at our very first harvest in 2007 (shown here with Captain). He went off to study at MSU’s Viniculture program at the University Center here in Traverse City. Matt leads his team in every order of vine pathology steps all the way to harvest. Matt’s full-time leadership of the vineyard began on the historic 2016 vintage.
Area of responsibility: Vineyards
Nathaniel found us at the same time we found him, a fateful occurrence in becoming our in-house winemaker. A biochemistry major from Western Michigan University with a surprising amount of wine making experience for his age, Nathaniel utilizes classical winemaking techniques in conjunction with a technical understanding of how flavors and aromas naturally come into being allowing for artisan, hands-on winemaking with minimal additions of sulfur, and little else.
Area of responsibility: Winemaker
Brother from another mother! Upon completion of his business studies in London and Barcelona, Giovanni added to his graduations that of joining his family winery full time. Justifiably proud of possessing the world's largest planting of Refosco, he and engineer father Giampietro also make small quantities of the indigenous Verduzzo Friulano, a white variety along with the internationally- recognized Chardonnay. Their Valpanera winery and its vineyards rest upon a beneficial mix of alluvial clays and sands over a limestone subsoil in the southern section of the Aquileia district.
Area of responsibility: Off-site Wine Producer