By Wayne Mooers, Northern California/Lake Tahoe Chapter

Madeleine Mount is the loving wife of the late Robert A. Mount, who passed in October 2020. As members of the Northern California/Lake Tahoe ACBS Chapter, they enjoyed 54 years of marriage, family, and boating smiles. They also, in 2015, opened Boatique Winery-joining their love of fine wines and a classic boat collection.

Madeleine is also the boat’s name

She is center stage at the winery – a sparkling 29-foot 2011 Van Dam custom build – a “gentleman” styled 1920-era racer model, which Robert Mount secretly commissioned Van Dam to build honoring his wife Madeleine. 

The beautiful Boatique Winery in Northen California.


They married in 1966 and with their three children, Monica, Aaron and Kimberly, charted a course of family bonding during their many outings on the waterways of Northern California. Today, Robert and  Madeleine’s eight grandchildren continue that tradition of creating boating smiles and so, as  Madeleine says, “Our story continues.”  

Madeleine meets Madeleine

“In August of 2011 Robert and I casually walked the docks of the Concours d’ Elegance at Lake Tahoe,”  continues Madeleine. “He always loved these classic boats. We stopped in line with the dock crowd flow to admire a new entry; a sparkling 29-foot long round shaped hull design named Madeleine.  And then it hit me; I’m Madeleine!”   

The 2011 Van Dam, 29-feet custom build, Madeleine

Robert had always been a shy and a quiet guy, says  Madeleine. He was “quiet” to the very moment he revealed Van Dam had been commissioned for this beautiful piece of mahogany boat art, Madeleine, just for her! “I was simply astonished!” she says, “I will never forget our maiden cruise together on the lake in the morning sun, and then, accepting the “Best Contemporary Boat” award at the dinner that evening.  Those were special times with my very dear, dear Robert.”

Madeleine also credits ACBS friends and Wood & Glory

Robert and Madeleine Mount

“Ironically,” she continues, “our formal entry into the winery business “just happened” also in 2011 when we attended the ACBS Wood & Glory event at Clear Lake, California.  This annual June classic boat gathering got rained out so Robert and I took an unplanned car ride into the Lake County country side, turned right instead of left, and discovered up on the hill an old home with 54 beautiful acres of vineyard property for sale.  Our dream came true!  We decided to make it our winery along with our antique wood boats displayed for all to see – it would be named Boatique Winery – a perfect combo of our passions.”

Ralph Wallen, the winery’s project manager, and his wife Bonnie, also members of the Northern California/Lake Tahoe Chapter, played a major role in helping the Mounts make their winery and classic boat collection dreams a reality. Adds Wallen, “In 2005 I completed restoring my 1959 Chris-Craft Silver Arrow which was awarded “Best Chris-Craft” at the Tahoe Concours that same year. I was honored when Robert wanted to have my Quiver in his collection, and equally honored when he asked me to help him manage the winery build and also the boat collection.  Yes, the old boats brought us together.” While Madeleine is certainly the center stage of the winery display, Ralph admits, each of the boats are special in their own way.

The Boatique Winery offers a very special collection of beautiful antique and classic wooden boats, and also their award winning fine wines. There is no other boat and wine collection like it.

1936 Ditchburn, 23.5-feet Legacy

1938 Greavette Streamliner, 24-feet Curvaceous

1947 Greavette Streamliner, 22-feet Traveler

1947 Chris-Craft Custom, 20-feet Foxy Lady

1948 Western Fairliner Torpedo, 17-feet Studebacker

1949 Ventnor Deluxe Runabout, 19-feet La Fin

1955 Chris-Craft Cobra, 21-feet Touch of Glass

ACBS South Tahoe Show- 2015 Boat of the Year; Tahoe Concours 2016 – Overall Best of Show

1959 Chris-Craft Silver Arrow, 19-feet Quiver

Tahoe Show 2005 – Best Chris-Craft of Show

1963 Wickens, 18-feet Wam Put

1964 Amphicar, Model 770, 7 knots water / 70 MPH highway.

1976 Serenella Venetian Water Taxi, 30-feet Roberto

1998 Van Dam, 33-feet custom build, Alpha Z

2011 Van Dam, 29-feet custom build, Madeleine

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