Franz Rotter was born in Shonenberg, Germany May 27, 1931. He was one of eight children growing up on their family’s farm. There was a family expectation to grow up and get into the family farm business; however, Franz had a different idea for his future. At the age of 14 he sought out his own apprenticeship and started work at a bakery. After three years he left for Switzerland in 1953 with a friend where he met his soon to be wife Hanna Horsch. They would be married on August 27, 1956. He spent some time cooking at a hotel and would transfer to a different one every six months.

Due to one of his best friends who left Germany to go work in Chicago for Fred Harvey, convinced Franz that he needed to come over and join him. In 1955 Franz traveled by boat to America. Hanna came over by plane in 1958 to join him. After six months in America, Franz was drafted to the American army where he did six weeks of basic training and then was transferred to Germany to be in charge of a restaurant. After the army Franz and his wife lived in Chicago for a little while before moving to the Grand Canyon to continue to work for Fred Harvey. He was managing the El Tovar and Bright Angel hotels before managing the Squire Inn in Tusayan, followed by the Red Feather, and then the Quality Inn.

The Quality Inn is now known as the Canyon Plaza Resort. Franz and Hanna have two children Ann and Frank and five grandchildren. Franz being the businessman he is has invested in a piece of land to create his ‘Bucket’ list Winery. It has been a life long dream of his to have a winery.