The largest estate icewine producer in the world, Pillitteri Winery is situated in the charming town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Pilliteri family has its roots in Sicily and the shift to Niagara happened when Gary Pillitteri and his family moved to the region in 1965. They bought a small fruit farm on which they cultivated cherries, peaches, apples, grapes and other fruits. In 1988, Gary decided to make Vidal Icewine which turned out to be popular and went on to win a gold medal. So, a decision was taken to convert the farm into a winery that finally opened in 1993.
The 100-acre vineyard has Vitis vinifera and French hybrid grapes that have resulted in several excellent wines. The winery produces large quantities of wine and quality is never compromised as evidenced by the high-quality VQA wines. Pillitteri Winery is most famous for its icewines with more than 13 different styles and since its first icewine in 1988, the winery has acquired several firsts in icewine production. It became the first producer of Merlot Icewine in 1999, the world’s first Shiraz Icewine in 2004, first Sangiovese Icewine in 2007 and the first sparkling Cabernet Icewine in 2008. Its 2012 Reserve Riesling Icewine won the Gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2015 and another Gold & Special Canada Prize – for the 2013 Reserve Vidal Icewine at the Citadelles du Vin 2015 in Bordeaux, France.
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