Building Italy in Northern Michigan |

building italy in northern michigan

Traverse City, MI


Over 20 years ago, Marty Lagina planted his first crop of exotic grapevines on the Old Mission Peninsula property he owned near Traverse City, Michigan. Since that first harvest, Lagina produced a number of red wine varieties that won several awards, and inspired him to open Mari Vineyards—named after his hardworking Italian grandmother—in 2016. Lagina hired Britten WoodWorks to design and handcraft a warm, authentic interior reminiscent of the old country of his wine-loving roots.


Often working from pictures or just Lagina describing his vision, WoodWorks’ craftsmen concepted and constructed custom interiors for every room in the winery. Coffee tables and bars handcrafted from local walnut, ash, and cherry wood slabs. Textured wood paneling covered the entire ceiling in the tasting room, while rustic wooden benches provided extra seating space. Large dining tables. Custom trim pieces. Crafted textured cabinet units and shelving for additional storage. Working closely with Lagina, the crew built functional, custom casework for the employee areas. They transformed wine barrels into wine racks and installed warm, wood accents everywhere—from the bathroom doors and wooden mirrors to the classic-looking barn doors at the vineyard’s entrance.


Mari Vineyards is one of Northwest Lower Michigan premier wineries. It welcomes hundreds of wine connoisseurs from the Midwest and throughout the world. Working closely with Lagina to transform his vision into reality, the WoodWorks team thrived working for a partner like Lagina. Anyone who’s met him, or seen him on TV, knows that he’s a bold and adventurous risk-taker—exactly the kind of client that Britten WoodWorks loves to work with.

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