Pillitteri Estates Winery proudly continues a family tradition of viticulture and winemaking excellence. For Gary Pillitteri, the opening of Pillitteri Estates Winery in June of 1993 was the culmination of a lifetime dream. Since arriving in Canada from his native Sicily in 1948, and through many years as a grape grower in Niagara and amateur winemaker, his goal had been to open his own winery. The turning point had taken place five years earlier when Gary won a gold medal for his Icewine in Niagara`s amateur wine competition. He knew then that he could make his dream come true. But he had been thinking about early retirement and could only build a professional and high-quality winery with the expertise and full commitment of his family. Pillitteri Estates Winery is truly a family enterprise: Gary`s son Charles is C.E.O. President of Sales, daughter Connie is C.F.O President of Operations, daughter Lucy is C.M.O. President of Marketing. and son-in-law Jamie Slingerland is the Director of Viticulture. The grapes are harvested primarily from the family`s 53 acres of vineyards, planted with vitis vinifera and French Hybrid grape varieties. Following the exacting standards of the VQA (Vintner`s Quality Alliance) production has increased steadily since the winery`s opening, and currently stands at 600,000 litres. The winery`s production facilities have recently undergone a major expansion, although growth in production is carefully controlled to ensure that the family`s high quality standards are maintained. Throughout the rapid growth and recent expansion of the winery, the family has not forgotten their heritage. The Pillitteri Logo contains a Sicilian cart, called a carretto, which is intricately painted with scenes of Pillitteri ancestors. The carretto represents the history of a family whose roots are deep in the cultivation of the land and the making of wine. The original antique, a cherished family heirloom, is proudly displayed in the winery`s reception area. Pillitteri`s winemaking philosophy is quite simple: "To produce the finest wines possible from the highest quality Niagara Peninsula grapes." However, the strategy is much more complex. Each vineyard and wine is treated individually since each has its own `personality` that must be expressed. The goal is to produce consistent, quality wine for the consumer : rich, full-bodied reds; fragrant and lively whites; and luscious Icewines, all in a variety of styles to suit every palate. This approach has earned Pillitteri Estates Winery a reputation for excellence. In the past twelve years the winery has been honoured with close to 400 medals, at both domestic and international competitions. These include the coveted Civart Trophy from the Challenge International du Vin, in Bordeaux, France, and a rare Double Gold Medal from the American Wine Society in the United States. From Gary`s first Gold Medal to winning 2 Grand Golds at Vinitaly 2006, Icewine continues to be the Pillitteri flagship wine. In fact, Pillitteri Estates Winery is Canada`s largest estate producer of Icewine, using the Vidal, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer varieties to produce Icewine that is exported to more than twelve countries worldwide. The family`s commitment to producing wine of exceptional quality and character is demonstrated in each bottle bearing the Pillitteri name. Although rooted in family tradition, Pillitteri Estates Winery has been at the forefront of growth and expansion that has brought the Niagara wine region to the attention of the world.