For Silvio (Tony) Ciccone's 90th birthday in early June 2021, his daughter paid him a visit to give him her best birthday wishes. Ordinarily, that would be no big deal, except his daughter is Madonna.

Silvio, along with Madonna's stepmother Joan, owns the Ciccone Winery in Sutton's Bay, in the Leelanau Peninsula, 17 miles north of Traverse City. Managers & employees of the winery make it perfectly clear that the business has nothing to do with Madonna.

Questions that celebrity-seekers constantly ask about wine tasting, grape picking, fermenting, farming, souvenirs, upkeep, ownership, etc. Are all met with the same answer: “It has nothing to do with Madonna”.

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Just knowing that Silvio is Madonna's dad keeps tourists visiting the farm; they try to look interested in the wide variety of wines and the beautiful countryside setting, but inevitably questions come around to Madonna sightings.
”Does she visit often?”
“Is she here today?”
“When was the last time she was here?”
“How can I get her autograph?”
“Will you give her this letter I wrote?”
“How long has she had this winery?”

So you can imagine the emphasis that is put on the fact that she is not a co-owner and has nothing to do with the everyday business dealings.

All that aside, the wines really are very good. This might surprise those Madonna fans who expect the winery to flourish because of her connection...but such is not the case. Visitors who have tasted the wines are very pleasantly surprised at how good they really are.

Madonna was born in Bay City, but the family moved to (what is now) Rochester Hills, where she spent most of her childhood. More than ten years after his daughter had already made the big time, Silvio moved north and started his winery in 1995. It wasn't just a fly-by-night idea: as a young man in Pennsylvania, he had a few grape vines he cared for, and his father before him made his own family wine...so it was more of a family tradition.

Pay a visit to the winery on your next roadtrip and taste some of the wines...you'll probably leave with two or more bottles of your own.
But don't ask about Madonna.
They've heard it all.

Madonna's Family Winery, Suttons Bay

Take a look at the northern Michigan winery owned by Madonna's father

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