Wines and Wineries Behind the History
Niagara Falls Wine Co- Founded in 1874 by Frederick Shirriff and Thomas Bright in Toronto, relocated to Niagara Falls, and became T.G. Bright and Company Ltd. in 1911
St Augustine Communion Wine- J .S. Hamilton and Co. which had started on Pelee Island in 1871.
Hamilton had one wine of note: St Augustine Communion Wine. In 1929, the Anglican Bishop of Montréal had proclaimed: "I know of no other wine wine equal to it for sacramental purposes."
Turner Wine Company- Established by Robert Turner in Brantford in 1885, his best known product was Turner Tonic Bitters. The company purchased the assets and stock of Hamilton Niagara Wines Ltd in 1937, they ceased doing business in 1977.
Cooksville Wine Valuts 1880 owned by Frank Thomas bought by London Winery Ltd 1946
Jules Robinet Winery- Formed when the partnership between Jules` father Pierre, and Ernest Girardot (1879) dissolved. Robinet et Frères winery was established in 1883, utilizing grapes from their Concordia Vineyards on Mill and Felix Streets in Sandwich which is today's Windsor. Sold to Fred Marsh Wine Ltd in 1935
The Robinet Winery Building is an important pre-1900 addition to the commercial core of the former Town of Sandwich (now Windsor) and associated with winemaker Jules Robinet, the buildings' first owner and builder. The patriarch of a prominent Sandwich family, an entrepreneur and well-known merchant, Robinet is credited with launching the winemaking industry in Essex County. When he acquired the property in 1894, much of the land on Mill and Felix Streets was covered with vineyards. The area's premier winemaker for more than 50 years (1883-1935), he supplied both wines and grapes, which he bought from suppliers across Essex County, to clients in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. Originally known as the St. Antoine Block, the building included a spacious cellar for Robinet's winemaking, a grocery store on the first floor, and living accommodations for the family on the upper floors. Since its construction (circa 1895), it has been an integral part of the community's commercial core, with retail activity continuing on the ground floor. *1
Stamford Park Wine Co. Ltd. started by the Marsh family in 1890. Fred C Marsh took over the Canadian Vine Growers A ssociation Limited in 1926. Assets acquired by Canadian Wineries Limited in 1928. In 1929 a new company by the name of Fred Marsh Winery Limited was formed at Niagara Falls They bought Thorold Winery Co. in 1935. T.G. Bright and Co acquired them in 1953.
Photo provided by Kevin Nault / Curator / Jasper Cultural Centre and Historical Centre
Maple Creek SK
Niagara Falls Wine Company - 1874-1911 photo provided by Steve Mouck
T G Bright Wines- Founded in 1874 by Frederick Shirriff and Thomas Bright under the name Niagara Falls Wine Co. In 1911 they moved from Toronto to Niagara Falls and incorporated as T.G. Bright and Co Ltd The winery was successful, and grew steadily until 1920. They were producing 4,000,000 gallons of wine, making them one of the larger wineries in the world but like all wineries, they were hurt by prohibition. In 1993 they joined with Cartier Wines and Inniskillin to form Vincor Wines. The label is still used on some products today but most likely will soon be gone. Please see Bright Wines
Robinet, Pierre and Girardot, Ernest- Opened in 1879 then purchased by Fred C Marsh Wine Company in 1935
Cooksville Wine Vaults- Established in 1880 by Frank Thomas, assets were bought by London Winery in 1946
E.G Brown - Began operations in Fonthill 1884 Assets sold to Hillrust Wine Co 1906
Acme Wine Ltd
Acme Wine Co Ltd - Licensed in 1898 sold unfermented wines. Taken over by Parkdale Wines 1954
G.W. Peavoy - Licensed in 1898 to G.W Peavoy but operated as Canadian Wine Co. assets were purchased by Acme Wines, taken over by Parkdale wines.
Pelee Island Wine and Vineyard Co.- Founded by J.S. Hamilton who expanded his vineyards to Essex County. The winery built with local stone on the island had three stories; using gravity to move juice from the top floor press to the 1,000 gallon tank on the first floor. Around 1897 Mr. Hamilton moved his winery off the island to Brantford. In 1949 he sold his assets to the London Wine Company.
Hillrust Wine Company- Licensed in 1906 took over the assets of E.G Brown in 1927 . They acquired Sunnieholme Wine Co in 1935. In 1945 T. G. Bright bought them.
BC Distillery 1906
New Westminster City Hall records state that the 100 Braid St building was constructed in 1929 and it is listed as a winery building for the BC Distillery.
Henry and George Reifel purchased the Bc Distillery sometime in the early 1920's It was just after Prohibition which was repealed in BC in 1921, but in the US it would run until 1933. The plan ship wine to the USA. They bought a large tract of marsh land in Delta, with long grasses perfect to hide boats (incidentally, the land was gifted by the family to the federal Crown and is now the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary). Before long the Reifels rum-running business was working like clockwork down the coast.”(1)
According to the book Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History, the Bronfman family purchased “the British Columbia Distillery in 1941.” The Canadian Encyclopedia confirms that the Bronfman family were founders of the Distillers Corporation-Seagrams Ltd which was founded in 1928. Following a number of Transactions theWest Coast Wines, incorporated in 1960 and later known as Villa Wines in New Westminster, was a subsidiary of Jordan’s Wines Ltd/St Michelle Cellars Ltd.
Sunnieholme Winery 1918-1920s
©2012 Steve Mouck
Sunnieholme Wine Company- Licensed in 1918 in St Catharine's, assets bought by Hillrust Wines
Adelaide Winery Limited- Licensed in 1918, did not open a store until 1931 assets bought by London Winery
Twin City Wine Company
Twin City Wine Company 1918 in Fort William, Pietro Belluz ws the owner, in 1956 he sold to T.G Bright.
Dominion Wine Growers- Licensed in 1919 to Fred Lee and H.M Voltz in Oakville. Bought by Canadian Winery Limited in 1928
Canadian Grape Producers - ©2012 Steve Mouck
Canadian Grape Products Limited- Licensed in 1920 established a plant in Jordan Ontario. It would take over Danforth Wines in 1948. The Jordan Wine Co Ltd was formed in 1926 to take over Canadian Grape Producers Ltd.
Sunnybank Winery licensed in 1920 to F.L. Furminger Assets sold to Barnes Wine Ltd in 1939.
The Old Battlefield Wine Company 1928 Albin Samborski received his license, he opened in Hamilton in 1931. Name changed to Dundurn Wines 1947 sold to T.G. Bright 1954.
John Tantardini Wines Opened 1928 in Guelph. Used the trade name Royal City Winery. Sold to London Winery 1941
Fort William Wine Co Ltd licensed in 1933 sold in 1936 to Barnes Wine Ltd.
National Fruit & Wine Co Founded in 1922, purchased the Hillrust Wine Co. Ltd. In 1929 after some difficult times The National Wine Co Ltd took over the assets, bringing it under Canadian Wineries Ltd. In 1948 it was purchased by Chateau-Gal Wineries.
Badaloto Wine Co opened in London 1922 purchased by T.G.Brights 1938
Growers Wine Company- Founded on Vancouver Island in 1922, they made wine from Loganberries. The five founders of the winery were William Bickford, Philip Holloway, Neil Lamont, Clarence Oldfield and Harry Tanner and their first two brands were Logana, made entirely with loganberries, and Vin Supreme, a blend of loganberries and blueberries. Growers obtained a distillery licence in 1936 . The man responsible for running Growers until they sold in 1955 was Herbert Anscomb.
A syndicate of Vancouver businessmen that included Coleman Hall (better known later for his investments in the Vancouver Canucks professional hockey team) and retired banker, Francis Lumb. Late in 1959 Vancouver stationer Ernest C. Warner took over. Imperial Tobacco bought Growers' in 1965, changing the name to Ste-Michelle after a popular wine brand controlled by Castle Wines Ltd., a Growers' subsidiary in Saskatchewan. When the cigarette company's brief diversification into wines ended, Jordan Wines Ltd. of Ontario bought Growers' in 1973, merging it with Villa Wines, Jordan's subsidiary in New Westminister (originally called West Coast Wines Ltd. when incorporated in 1960). In 1976 Jordan & Ste-Michelle Cellars Ltd. was adopted as the winery's national name. The Victoria winery was closed in 1977, replaced by a new $7 million winery in Surrey, with a storage capacity for four million gallons and room to be tripled. However, after the market for domestic wineries stalled in the 1980s, Jordan & Ste-Michelle was acquired by T.G. Bright & Co. who closed and dismantled the Surrey winery in 1990. The Growers' name survives as a popular brand of cider. In 1962 Growers' took over the production and marketing of apple cider that had been developed by scientist Dr. John Bowen for Sun-Rype in Kelowna.
Victoria Wineries(British Columbia) was established in 1928 as Brentwood Products by some members of the Saanich Board of Trade to produce a market for loganberry products and thereby assist Saanich peninsula loganberry growers. In 1932 they merged with Growers Wines (which had been in Victoria since the early 1920s). The company lasted until 1960 when disease wiped out the berries.
Canadian Liebfraumilch was one of their early wines made from a white seedless grape called Himrod ( winemaker Frank Schmidt) The name was later changed to Rhine Castle after objections from Germany
Jordan Wines established in1920 one of a few wineries that survived prohibition. They took over Canadian Grape Producers Ltd in 1926. Jordan Wines establishes Villa Wines in New Westminster BCIn 1973 they bought out Growers Winery in Victoria and renamed the national company Jordan & Ste-Michelle. In 1986 Bright bought out Jordan & Ste Michelle.
The Ontario Wine Co.was licensed in 1922 to E.J Morrow . He had the licence for 5 years, it was cancelled then renewed in 1927 (a period of time when the Ontario gov would not issue new licenses so companies bought up old ones) The company assets sold to Lakeshore Wines Co Ltd 1930. In 1933 Danford wines took over Lakeshore
Antonio De Conza Winery licensed issued 1922 in St Catharine's 1931 Regal wine Co. took over and was purchased by Danforth Wine Company in 1936 and in turn sold to Jordan Wines.
London Wine Company founded 1924 by the Knowles family by 1977 it was the only winery still operating is southwestern Ontario. It was sold to Vincor Canada in December 1996. Vincor has retained some brands under the London label
Beaverdam Cataract Winery Ltdlicensed 1925 in Niagara Falls. In 1937 Assets bought were bought by Danforth Wines. Danforth wine assets sold to Jordan Wines in 1964
Bordeaux Wine Ltdfirst licensed in 1926 opened on Queens street in Toronto they built in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1935. Bought by Chateau-Gai Wine Ltd in 1953
Canadian Wineries Limited
Canada Wine Products It was formed in 1928 Taking over Peerless Wine Co, Dominion Wine Growers and Oakville Lincoln Wines Ltd Stanford Park Wine Co Ltd. Thorold Winery. The key factor here is that Canadian Wineries Limited changed their name to Chateau – Gal Wines Limited in 1940 In 1973 they purchased the assets of Chateau Cartier
Lincoln Wines Ltd licensed 1928 taken over by Canada Wineries Ltd 1928.
Fred Marsh Winery Limited at Niagara Falls founded by Fred Marsh in 1929.
Danforth Wine Co Franco Cerra of Fort Williams, Ontario received a license in 1926. The wines were for a time made at the Lakeshore Wine Co in Toronto In 1935 they purchased the Beaverdam Calaract Winery Ltd. In 1937 the name changed to Danforth Wine Ltd. In 1948 Danforth became the wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Grape Producers Ltd. who became Jordan Wines.
Grimsby Wine Limited originally licensed in 1928 as the Grimsby Grape and Wine Company. Grimsby was taken over by Parkdale Wines Ltd in 1966
Hamilton- Niagara Wines opened 1928 sold to Turner Wine Co 1937
Old Fort Wine Co LTD. chartered in 1928 in Fort Erie originally known as the Beamsville Winery
The Old Battlefield Winery Licensed issued to Albin Samborski 1928 Named for the battle that took place at Stoney Creek during the War of 1812. Changed name to Dundurn Winery 1947 assets were bought by T.J Bright 1954.
Robinet Freres licensed to Clovis and Frank Robinet 1928 assets purchased by T.G. Brights in 1935.
St Catharines Wine Company of Canada Ltd. 1928 Sold to Jordan wines 1953
Parksdale Wine Limited
Parksdale Winery was in operation by 1930 in Toronto. This winery was owned by Mr Axler, Mr Siegal, and Mr Roth. The winemaker was (Ted ) IKT Phillips. They bought Grimsby Wines in 1932. In turn they were sold to Labatt Brewery in 1965.
Parkdale Wines and it was located in Etobicoke, I started out as a winemaker for them. And we had a 250 acre farm up in Grimsby up on old Number 8 highway called the Parkdale fruit farm. And that farm grew grapes, and what we did at the time with that farm, its primary use was to show growers that they could grow certain grape varieties in the peninsula, because at one time the grape varieties that were grown in the peninsula were labrusca grapes, labrusca being a variety of grape that has originated in North America and the finer wines or table wines were being made out of the variety of grape that grows in Europe. So we used to import some of these grape vines to prove to grape growers in this area that we could certainly grow vinifera grape varieties, and that's where I was familiar with different grape varieties, and the vineyards and the growing of grapes in the Grimsby area.~ John Hall of Kittling Ridge Explains The Grimsby Wines Farm and Parkdale Wines as recorded on the Grimsby Museum website
Victoria Wineries was founded in 1927 to process loganberry wines. In 1932 they merged with Growers Wines lasting until 1960 when disease wiped out the berries. However the public was by now more interested in grape wine. The main label brand was called Slinger after its winemaker ex-jockey Stephen Slinger
Calona Winery established in British Columbia 1931. It produced apple wine at first switching to grape wines from J.W. Hughes. Calona Winery stayed afloat by producing sacramental wine for the Roman Catholic Church. For many years it was run by the Cappozzi family. In 1977 it released Schloss Laderheim made from Okanagan Riesling. It became the best selling domestic wine. Today Calona is owned by Andrew Peller Limited
Murtina Winery the McKinney family ran the Murtina winery, the larger of two loganberry wineries in Richmond, BC
Chipman's Apple Products first commercial winery in Nova Scotia,1941, producing fruit wines. The name was changed to Chipman Wines Limited. Andre's wine bought Chipman's in 1983 and promptly closed the plant.
Jordan-Danforth Wines the name came about in 1948 when the Jordan winery opened a second location in St. Catharines. The Danforth wine label was made in St. Catharines, the Jordan line in Jordan. At its peak, the St. Catharines winery employed about 100 people and dozens more during harvest time. Hundreds of Niagara growers sold grapes to the plant. It remained a big player until 1986, when it was bought by competitor Niagara Falls T. G. Bright and Co. Ltd., which is also defunct today. By 1987, the St. Catharines winery was closed
1960's image of the Calona Jack Wines (20% fortified wine) in the comments section of the last Calona Wines post.
"The fortified wines included the highly successful and notorious Double Jack, Berry Jack and Cherry Jack wines which were introduced in February 1968 to replicate fruit wines of the Gallo Brothers. The cheap Jacks were fortified with spirits made in Calona's own distillery and packed a whallop — as most teenagers around British Columbia inevitably discovered." - from The British Columbia Wine Companion by John Schreiner:
Abby Wines Limited established in Truro NS in 1965 owned by Andre's The grapes were brought in from outside NS.
Inkameep Vineyards developed by Andres Wines in 1968.
Château-Gai was one of the larger wineries in Ontario during 1960's and 70's It originated in the 1940. Just after prohibition a group of investors formed a company called Canadian Wineries Limited. They bought six existing licenses, Peerless Wines Manufacturing, The National Wine Company, Dominion Wine Growers, Lincoln Wines, Thornwood Wine Company and the Stamford Wine Company. In 1939 they registered the trademark Château and in 1940 changed the company name to Château-Gai. Alexander Sampson was the man behind Château-Gai. While in France after the war he put the company's champagne on display in a Paris shop window and had photographers take pictures. The pictures were printed in all Canadian newspapers greatly raising the notoriety of the winery.
Château-Gai was sued by fifteen French champagne houses for using the word Champagne stating that only grapes grown in the district of Champagne, France could use the term. In 1933 Canada had signed an Agreement with France to protect the appellations of origin. It was most likely the advertising in the Paris window that caused the lawsuit. The matter was not settled until 2003, today only wine produced in Champagne, France is actually named Champagne. In 1964 Labatt's Brewery purchased control of the winery.
Jordan & St- Michelleat one time was the second largest winery in Ontario.
LeComte winery began on Hawthorne Mountain near Okanagan Falls shortly 1986 Albert LeComte. Sold to Harry McWatters in 1995 who renamed it Hawthorn Mountain. The winery was owned by Constellation Brands 2000 and is now called See Ya Later. Prior to Albert LeComte the land was owned by Major Huge Fraser who owned numerous dogs. Constellation Brands Canada was purchased by the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund in Nov 2016. The new name Arterra Wines Canada.
Normandie Wines established by Labatts in New Brunswick 1965. Normandie imported juice concentrates from Spain and Cyprus through Vine Products, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, England. They fermented and produced various sherries, ports and red and white table wines. They were the first to produce Blueberry wine in NB. using local berries. Normandie Wines was named after the Duke of Normandie. Three sherries that were produced were "1066" ( battle of hastings) "chevalier" ( foot soldier ) and "cream sherry"
Casabello Winery the name means Fine Home in Italian a partnership of investors headed by Evans Louheed. Establish in Penticton BC 1964.Their first vintage in 1966 was produced with 250 tons of Grapes 60% from the Okanagan 40% from California. Consulting winemaker for the first two years was Wallace Pohle. Thomas Hoenisch was hired in 1971 as resident winemaker. Casabello was the first commercial winery to make a committed to small oak barrels. The winery could not muster a strong challenge to the Calona Winery sales. Labatts took over the Winery in 1977 after labatt left the wine business the name was changed to Cartier Wines before becoming part of Vincor.
ALPENWEISS trademark by Ridout Wines Limited in MISSISSAUGA, 1979
Labatt's In 1964 John Labatt a major brewer in Manitoba plunged into the wine business by acquiring Château-Gai in Ontario and the Casabello Winery in BC. In 1965, Labatt's acquired control of the Parkdale Wines Limited changing the name to Château Cartier and, a year later, acquired Grimsby Wines Limited to establish a position in the growing Canadian wine market. Labatt's man Don Triggs was responsible for the Canadian wineries Labatt's hired a man named Allan Jackson to run Ridout Wines. In 1970 Labatt's introduced a new label, Chateua Cartier, Labatts sold to a group of investors including Triggs and Jackson. The wines were briefly sold under the label Cartier Wines. When this new group merged with T.J. Bright to form Vincor some wines continued to be sold under the Cartier label. Please see Vincor History
Uncle Ben's Wines Yellow Bird sparkling white (a blend of the finest white sparkling wines). This was when wines like Baby Duck, Cold Duck and others were being sold in large amounts in the early 1970's.. Photo from Old Kelowna
Andrés Wines began in 1961 in Port Moody BC. Today Andres is know as Andrew Peller Limited. Their brands include
Complementing these premium brands are a number of popular priced products including Hochtaler, Domaine D'Or, Schloss Laderheim,Similkameen. Royal and Sommet They also own RoundPetal Wines producers of XOXO wines
Founded in 1961 Andrés is one of the oldest wineries in Canada. 2016 marked the 56 year history of the company and a corporate name change from Andrés Wines Ltd., to Andrew Peller Limited
Andrés Wines owns wineries in Ontario (Peller Estates & Hillebrand Estates) and British Columbia
Nova Scotia, Quebec and Manitoba. Most are bottling plants not vineyards. Their operation began in Port Moody, BC in 1961 using California grapes. They moved their main operation to Ontario.
Andrés has continued to develop wines in BC developing vineyards near Oliver, BC. Look for the Big Horn Vineyard Label
In addition, the Company owns and operates Vineyards Estate Wines, Aisle 43 and Wine Country Vintners, independent wine retailers in Ontario with more than 100 well-positioned retail locations. The Company's products are sold predominantly in Canada. The company also represents a broad range of international brands through its two import divisions, Grady Wine Marketing in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and The Small Winemakers Collection in Ontario. Andrew Peller Limited common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbols ADW.A and ADW.
In the fall of 2017 they purchased Tinhorn Creek, Gray Monk and Black Hills Wineries for 95 million.
Hillebrand Vidal Latte Harvest 1988 -photo provided by Rick VanSickle
The winery was originally founded in 1979 by Dr Joseph Poborlry named Newark. He sold it in 1982 to Scoll and Hillenbrand from Rheingau, Germany who changed the the name to Hillebrand
In 1994 Andrés acquired Hillebrand Estates Winery. In 2012 they changed the name from Hillebrand winery to Trius at Hillebrand. Today Andres is known as Andrew Peller Ltd.
Grand Opening of Konzelmann Estate Winery (April 9th 1988)
Herbert and Gudrun Konzelmann standing outside the Konzelmann winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake in May 1988,
Wild Goose Vineyards original label
Roland, Fritz, and Hagen Kruger
GRAPE GROWERS OF ONTARIO CHAIRS H.E. Kilman 1947-1949 George Lounsbury 1949-1953 George Stewart 1953-1960 Simon House 1960-1966 Ron Moyer 1966-1980 Keith Wiley 1980-1983 Brian Nash 1983-1989 Art Smith 1989-1992 Tom Greensides 1992-1995 John Neufeld 1995-2002 Wayne Lockey 2002-2003 Ray Duc 2003-2007 Bill George Jr. 2007-2016 Matthias Oppenlaender 2016-Present
A 1975 article on
Niagara's Wine Visionaries - Linda Bramble - James Lorimer - Company Ltd
Okanagan Wine Tour Guide - John Schreiner - Whitecap
The Wines of Canada - John Schreiner - Mitchell Beazley Classic Wine Library
The Wineries of British Columbia - John Schreiner - Whitecap
Icewine The Complete Story - John Schreiner - Warwick Publishing
Canada Wines for Dummies - Tony Aspler, Barbara Leslie - CDG Books
Wines Of Ontario An Industry Comes of Age - William F. Rannie
Grimsby Museum Grimsby, Ontario
Domaine des Cotes d’Ardoise.
* Chateau Clair, Canada’s First Vineyard & Commercial Winery
By Matthew Wilkinson
Historian, Heritage Mississauga
(1) The History of 100 Braid St, The Winery Building for the BC Distillery by Susan L. Greig
Notes and information supplied by
Chateau des Charmes Winery
Vera and Nancy Klokockas