Wine Council of Ontario Elects New Chair

President of Cave Spring Cellars to Advocate for Ontario VQA Wines

Vineland, ON – With over 40 years experience in the Ontario VQA wine industry, the newly elected Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario (WCO) will be using his deep industry knowledge and experience to both increase the recognition and pride for Ontario VQA wines as well as advocate for the growth and profitability of Ontario’s respected VQA wine sector.

Len Pennachetti, President and Founding Partner of Cave Spring Cellars in Jordan Village, was elected as the new Chair of the WCO at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). He succeeds Allan Schmidt, President and Managing Partner of Vineland Estates Winery in Vineland, who spent the last four years successfully advocating for Ontario VQA wineries at all levels of government, and working alongside industry partners to establish the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario. The election of Pennachetti was well received by the WCO membership, board and staff in attendance at the AGM.

“I look forward to working with the WCO membership to tackle the issues facing our industry with the support of our government partners,” said Pennachetti. “It is an exciting time for the industry as Ontario’s alcohol distribution sector evolves and becomes more competitive, providing greater choice and convenience for Ontario consumers. Our board will continue to focus on growth and profitability challenges in our industry while improving equity and fairness between all craft alcohol sectors.”

As Chair, Len’s efforts will be supported by a strong Board of Directors: Caroline Granger, The Grange of Prince Edward; Derek Saunders, Calamus Estate Winery; Ed Madronich, Flat Rock Cellars; Paul Speck, Henry of Pelham Family Estate; Stephen Gash, Malivoire Wine Company; Murray Wilson, Oxley Estate Winery; Walter Schmoranz, Pelee Island Winery; Jamie Slingerland, Pillitteri Estate Winery; Dan Sullivan, Rosehall Run; and, Sue-Ann Staff, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery. Andrea Kaiser of Reif Estate Winery and Carolyn Hurst of Westcott Vineyards were also elected as new members of the board. Allan Schmidt will continue to serve in an ex-officio position as Past Chair on the WCO Board of Directors.


For more information, please contact:
Wine Council of Ontario
Alison Oppenlaender
905.562.8070 ext. 230

The OCW leads the growth and profitability of Ontario’s respected VQA wine sector – through strategic partnership and authoritative trusted advocacy. As a non-profit trade association, the OCW represents over 100 wineries from across the three designated viticultural areas of the province (Niagara, Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore – including Pelee Island) as well as emerging wine producing regions such as Ontario’s South Coast and Georgian Bay/Grey County. OCW members are independently owned small and medium sized businesses – grape growers, manufacturers and leaders in tourism in their communities. Our members are the future of Ontario’s wine industry which is a source of new investment, jobs and award-winning wines.

For more information, please contact: | 905 562 8070 ext. 225

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