Our Winemaking Team
Winemaker - Robert Gill
Rob is a graduate of the Winery and Viticulture Technology program at Niagara College Teaching
Winery, during this time an internship was successfully completed at the Hogue Cellars in Washington
State. This program prepared Rob to implement a comprehensive program to ensure proper vineyard
management, tractor soil preparation and vine maintenance which is directly correlated to the
production of great wine.
After graduating in 2007, vintages abroad were enjoyed at:
Bouchard-Finlayson; Walker Bay, South Africa
Bodega Familia Mayol; Mendoza, Argentina
Siduri Wines; Sonoma, California
With this knowledge he has managed the planting and trellising of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Riesling,
and is developing the business processes that are essential to a growing vineyard and winery. Rob also
works with local growers whose fruit we source for premium wine production, to maximized quality and
improve overall vineyard practices.
Being born and raised in Norfolk County makes returning and working in Port Dover extra special.
His immediate family still lives in the area, so Rob can be found sipping Ale (and wine!) alongside them.
Consultant - Nick Vranckx
Nick has been providing advice on correct cultural practices to use to ensure healthy and
quality grapes. Nick has also assisted in implementing an integrated pest management strategy
to promote the health of the grapes and vines. Currently Nick is working to implement
wine/must analysis and proper laboratory procedures.
Remembering our Establishing Winemaker - Steven Kett
Steven Lorne Kett (August 1985 - January 2011) was born and raised in Norfolk County. Steven's
interest in winemaking centered on exploring new techniques for creating old world style wines.
Very minimalist in the winery, Steve kept the belief that quality grapes are the foundation
for stunning wines and the fermentation should happen with ease and minimal additions of
nutrients and no GMO products. Steve worked with several wineries locally in the beginning
stages being involved in vineyard development, winemaking protocol development, and Steve also
worked as assistant winemaker at Villa Nova Winery and Florence Estate Winery. Steve was part
of our team that was the first to explore the use of retired tobacco kilns for the use of
making Amarone styled wine's with local grapes creating a truly unique product.
Steven's philosophy in the vineyard was to work with soil structures, climate and specific
varieties developing the vineyard and planting densities based on the different qualities
each site possessed. Organic agriculture was a very important asset which Steve rightly felt
we should all return to, with most of the great old world wines following organic protocols.
The fact that many people believe great wines are made in poor soils is only half the truth,
the soils these great wines are made in may possess low nutrient qualities but don't be
fooled; these growers do follow practices which allow the diversity of soil life forms to
thrive and grow. Steve's organic management practices gave the advantage of providing the
plants with the opportunity to express their full, unobstructed qualities and potential.
"The torpid artist seeks inspiration at any cost, by virtue or by vice, by friend or by fiend, by prayer or by wine." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Wine improves with age. I improve with wine." - Anonymous
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