I am a third generation farmer living on the North Fork of Long Island, NY. Originally from South Dakota, I went to a one-room schoolhouse near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Later, I studied at Iowa State University and earned an MS and PhD in Horticulture from Cornell University.

I grew up looking out at the Dakota horizon over fields of golden wheat. These days I look eastward over the Atlantic Ocean to points unknown.

Some people say that when you build a boat you’re planning your escape. But for me, it’s always been a process of making order out of chaos. I know I can buckle down on a task to create something beautiful and useful—and when I finish, I find freedom in Nature.

I have built boats for clients around the world using a wide range of woods, including juniper, walnut, western red cedar, Alaskan yellow cedar, purpleheart and zebrawood.

Since 2003, I’ve also been the CEO of Bedell Cellars, a 100-acre, certified sustainable vineyard and winery founded in 1980. Our Merlot was served at President Obama’s Inauguration. I am the immediate past Chairman of the Board of WineAmerica and the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. I’ve found exciting creative synergy between the two handcrafts that have shaped my life: winemaking and boatbuilding. Both are exercises in passion and patience.


Trent Preszler makes bespoke wooden canoes at the forefront of artisanal luxury. They have been called "the most beautiful canoes in the world" and featured in Esquire, Robb Report, Financial Times of London, and The Wall Street Journal Magazine. Each canoe is painstakingly molded from hundreds of hand-cut wood strips, then finished with cast bronze trim and hand stitched leather seats. Made by private commission only, it is an exacting process that takes a year to complete. A Preszler Woodshop canoe is a functional work of art meant to be passed down through generations. His artistic practice is imbued with four elements of the outdoorsman:
wood, water, sky, and life.