1973, Donna DeYoung gifted Michael Lucent with a wine
making kit for his 18th birthday. Unfortunately, Donna
never knew if Michael had made the wine because soon
they parted—as “first loves” often do-- never to meet
Or, at least that’s what Donna thought, until a
mere 25 years later when Michael knocked on her door.
She herself had just recently moved back to
Wilkes-Barre, PA after living out of the area for the
past several years. Life’s circuitous folly led them
back to each other, and yes, once again fell back in
love; only this time, (so as to not let her slip
through his fingers again), he married her! She gained
not only a husband but also the love of his two
amazing adolescent children as well.
Did Michael ever make the kit-wine? Actually he
did. Was Donna responsible for his winemaking career?
Maybe not--- though she’d like to think so.
Michael‘s first winery was located in Duryea,
PA--in his parents cellar. One day while enjoying a
glass of wine with his Dad, he said, “Papa, we should
make ‘Dego Red’ wine, just like Grandpa did.’” And so
it began. In 1981Father, Son, and the entire family
commenced making wine.
For the next 17 years Michael kept his winemaker’s
notes on brown paper shopping bags, which are still in
the cabinet in his parent’s cellar. They pressed the
grapes with an old world press which was used by his
Grandfather when he first came to the states from
Sicily. Michael’s children grew up making the wine;
even as tiny creatures, their job was to turn the
press, once their little hands could reach!
During those 17 years Michael became quite
proficient at his craft; and upon their first
re-encounter he provided Donna with a bottle of his
wine. It was so delicious that she didn’t believe that
it was his, but after touring his “winery” there could
be no doubt.
They honeymooned on Lake Seneca, so that Michael
could share in his love for this region to his new
wife. Donna’s first winery experience was at the
Arcadian Estates Winery. She too fell in love with the
area, loved Arcadian, and said to Michael “We could do
this!” And so the dream began.
The following year, in 2000, they purchased the
property on Route 14, just one mile north of Arcadian,
For eight years this electrician and his artist
wife did research, winery seminars, and hired a
Consultant. Independently, Michael worked as a
“cellar-rat” for Knapp and Glenora, and Donna as a
retail manager for Logan Ridge Winery and quite a bit
later was also the original retail manager at White
Springs Winery. Together they co-managed a winery for
two years in New Jersey where Michael made his first
commercial award winning wines.
The family of King’s Road Vineyards decided to
close the winery, due to the untimely death of the
owner. Although there was great sadness to leave this
beautiful winery in New Jersey, this gave them the
opportunity to buy the tanks and production equipment
at a reasonable price from the family. Now it was time
reclaim their dream; go back “home” to the Finger
Lakes region with their invaluable winery experience
and equipment, and start their own winery.
They knew they wanted to work together—to make up
for the “lost” 25 years, by both sharing in their love
for each other, and the love of the whole wine
culture. So there they are making every happy day
count at the Pompous Ass Winery. They hope to see you