St. Catharines, ON (April 10, 2017): The Grape Growers of Ontario Award of Merit is presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements made by an individual to the Ontario grape growing industry.
Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario Chair, is pleased to announce that this year’s Award recipient is Paul Bosc Sr., in well-deserved recognition of the contributions he has made over the last fifty years to the Ontario grape and wine industry. Paul is a fitting winner as the Grape Growers of Ontario celebrate their 70th Anniversary this year.
Paul immigrated to Canada from France in 1964 and became the Chief Winemaker and Director of Research and Development at Chateau-Gai Wines in Niagara where he began experimenting with classic European vinifera varieties.
In 1976, Paul founded Chateau des Charmes on a 60-acre plot of land on Creek Road which became the first commercial vineyard dedicated exclusively to vinifera grape varieties. It was also the first vineyard in the Niagara area to install wind machines for cold protection.
The winery’s first vintage was produced in 1978 and the current Chateau des Charmes Estate opened its’ doors in 1994 as a state-of-the-art winery and visitor centre. The Bosc family now farms 280 acres in four locations all within the St David’s Bench and Four Mile Creek sub-appellations.
Paul also believes in stewardship of the land and has been dedicated to promoting sustainable agricultural practices. As a member of the Sustainable Winemaking Ontario program, Paul participated in the World Wine Trade Group annual conference in 2011 and, with other panelists, worked to establish an agreement on sustainability principles.
In 1988 Paul was crowned Ontario’s Grape King, and has been the recipient of many honours since then, including a doctorate from Brock University, The Order of Ontario, The Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the inaugural Canadian Vintners Association Award of Distinction, The Order of Canada, and the LCBO Special Recognition Award.
The Grape Growers of Ontario thank Paul for the time and dedication he has put into the development of Ontario’s grape and wine industry, and look forward to celebrating with all our members, partners and stakeholders throughout 2017 as we celebrate our 70th Anniversary.