Niagara’s Wine Visionaries

Profiles of the Pioneering Winemakers

by Linda Bramble

How a handful of idealists and stubborn, single-minded enthusiasts created a great wine region in Niagara, Ontario.

As recently as the 1970s, the term "fine Ontario wine" was an oxymoron, and a bottle of Ontario wine at a wine-tasting produced skeptically raised eyebrows.

The Ontario wine industry in the Niagara region began to experiment as early as the 1920s with French varietals and hybrids -- only to have its efforts frustrated by Prohibition, government restrictions, the Depression,and a World War.

And yet today the wines of Ontario are among some of the finest in the world. What did it take to change the practices of a century and transform an archaic industry into a modern one in just thirty years? Who were the leaders of this revolution? What were the challenges? And what might the future hold for this vibrant community?

In Niagara's Vine Visionaries, Linda Bramble tells the dramatic story of people who carried out this transformation of the Niagara industry. Here are the pioneers, the visionaries, the scientists, the entrepreneurs, and the all-round "characters" who pushed, cajoled, and dragged Niagara into its proud place in the world of international wine-making.

About the Author

Linda Bramble
LINDA BRAMBLE is a certified sommelier and a well-known and highly respected wine writer. In addition to teaching at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University, Linda is the Senior Editor of Vines magazine, and was the Canadian contributor to The Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America. She lives in St. Catharines.


"For every bottle of Niagara wine Linda Bramble savoured over the past 30 years, she knew there was a human story behind it. Tales of struggle, vision and success. People who transformed Niagara's wine industry from a joke into a world-renowned collective."
John Law, The Niagara Falls Review
"An entertaining and educational read, with the perfect blend of wine, business and a touch of gossip, a must have for under the tree!"
The Wine Ladies
"The inside tales of their successes and some spectacular recent failures, makes for an intriguing read."
Gord Stimmell, The Toronto Star

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