Who knew owning and operating a winery would be my career choice in 2016. But that is exactly what is happening and I couldn't be happier.
Starting a winery seems like an idyllic endeavor for the wine lover...Just imagine sipping your wine while gazing over your beautifully manicured vineyard. Ok, well now back to reality!
So how did this all start? Truth is, it kind of evolved much like a seed being planted and then discovering a plant is full grown. How truly magical life is! You know.... sometimes we follow a path in life to get to a certain point and other times the path guides us through life and shows us the opportunities available to us along the way. I guess I just got off the path to check out this opportunity. I digress.
Well... where did my passion for wine originate? That’s a tough question but I am sure it had something to do with my grandfather’s winemaking. At an early age I would go down and play in the basement of my grandparent’s home and wonder about the glass demijohns, bottles and barrels and the interesting smells that goes along with winemaking. Having tasted his wines at an early age and finding them quite palatable may have been the “moment” that sparked this journey later in life.
My first commercial planting was a half an acre of Saskatoon Berries. It was a real joy to be a farmer and tend to the young saplings while watching them grow with each season. This gave me great pleasure and solidified my need to be engaged with the soil. But ultimately a decision was made to move closer to my full time job and I never got to see them fully matured. With our eyes keenly focused on the path forward we sold our home and moved away from family and friends, built a new home and started a new chapter in our life on Closson Road in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
It was now only a matter of time before grape growing would become part of my life. I have always been eager to take on projects while learning along the way which seems to be a personal trait. With one young child and another on the way and a full time job we somehow devised a plan to move forward. In 2006 we planted our first vineyard; all 2200 vines were planted by hand. It took a few years to figure out commercial grape growing but now we have 6 acres planted and a working winery. The challenges we faced to get here don’t seem as large anymore. I am finally able to move forward with this life journey started in my grandfather’s basement so many years ago.
Michelle and I enjoy spending quality time with our two children, Carson and Samantha, teaching them to love and respect the land and our rural life , while tending to our vineyards. It is hard work but fulfilling; and is truly a family operation that requires balance to be fruitful; much like the wine.