When Canada and the U.S. agreed to a landmark free trade deal nearly 30 years ago, John Neufeld worried that his 73-hectare vineyard was doomed. At the time, the farm supplied grapes to nearby wineries, which had little faith that their products could compete against better-known — and superior — California wines.
“The information we had at that time was that California, with the reduction [in tariffs], would just come in and take over the Ontario marketplace,” Neufeld recalls. He was so worried that he ripped out all of his vines in the late 1980s. For several years, the farm grew only peaches and other tree fruits.
He was so wrong. Not only does he grow grapes again, but his vineyard, now named Palatine Hills Estates Winery, won many awards for his own vintages.Read More