Minnesota Renaissance Festival Blog

Featured Entertainer – Charles Sutter the Vintner

Character: Charles Sutter the Vintner 

Person: Michael Heck 

/’vintnər/ noun : a wine merchant or wine maker

Charles Sutter is well known among the festival grounds, often in a bar sipping on a glass of delicious wine. Portrayed by the talented Michael Heck he works hard to create the persona of Charles Sutter. In need of a new character Heck wanted to expand his creative horizons. With a helpful suggestion to be a wine maker, he took on the role and worked hard to create someone people would like to meet and know.

Charles is a vintner, a lover of wine both in creating and tasting. Living just outside our humble village known as the Renaissance Festival he lives comfortably on his vineyard that he inherited from his father. Living on the vineyard all of his life Charles spends his days tending to the vines, pressing grapes, and creating delicate fine wines. He enjoys roaming the village to seek out excitement along with his friends and create some mischief as well. Those who know Charles well describe him as one who is quick with a laugh, a good ol’ “dad” joke, or a toast! His greatest ambition in life is to become the Royal Vintner and provide all the wine for his majesty King Henry!

As a lover of wine Charles is always quick to remind those who share his fondness to always “remember the Number One Rule: NEVER overindulge! For when one is drunk, one cannot fully appreciate the wine!”

In Charles words, to become a vintner, one must have a connection with the land. In order to know when the grape is at its sweetest. Only the best grapes can be picked in order to produce a great wine. You have to have patience in order to allow the vines to grow and nourish them properly; as well as the finesse to handle the grapes delicately.

When discussing wines, Charles knows how to properly pair a delicious entrée with the perfect bottle. Whether you choose a red meat or decide for the fish, Charles can be your guide. His favorite wine is any wine; so long as it has been properly fermented. While discussing wines, Charles spoke fondly of how a good Riesling brings him back to the moment he met his wife.

“We spent a lovely evening over a fresh bottle of Riesling together. Talking, laughing, and by the end of the night I realized she had let me have the lion’s share of that bottle!”

When discussing Heck’s character, he said that his favorite thing about being an entertainer at the Renaissance Festival is that fact that he’s able to make someone laugh or smile. “The world has many things that can make someone feel sad, alone or upset. If I can make you forget about all of that for even just a moment, then I have given you a gift. That makes it all worth it to me.”