Home Industry News Releases David Sheppard Named Winemaker of the Year: Caps off 40 Year Career

David Sheppard Named Winemaker of the Year: Caps off 40 Year Career


September 8th – Pioneering Canadian winemaker David Sheppard is the Ontario Wine Awards “Winemaker of The Year”. Now in its 27th edition, the Ontario Wine Awards is one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the country and recognizes outstanding contributions to the wine world.

This is Dave’s 1st time winning the award in a career that has spanned four decades. His Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Rieslings have consistently been among the most highly acclaimed in the country, winning numerous honours over the years. Throughout his career, Sheppard has spent an unnumerable amount of time sharing his wines, his neighbours’ wines, and his love of the Niagara Wine Industry. “We are ecstatic for Dave! He has been a driving force in the development of not just Flat Rock Cellars, but the entire Niagara wine industry” says Ed Madronich, President of Flat Rock Cellars.

Tony Aspler, Founder of the Ontario Wine Awards noted that “Dave Sheppard was a celebrity winemaker before there were celebrity winemakers. His winemaking skills, honed over 40 vintages, speak to the long tradition of the fine Ontario wines that he has helped to create over the years.”

The 2020 vintage was among the best seen in Niagara, and the wines will have extra significance to those who have followed Dave’s career. Some of Flat Rock’s 2020 aromatic wines have already hit the shelf, but many are still evolving in barrels and will be released in the new year.

About Flat Rock Cellars

Flat Rock Cellars is an architecturally unique, five-level gravity flow winery surrounded by 80 acres of vineyards, located on the Twenty Mile Bench in Jordan, Ontario; specializing in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Flat Rock Cellars was established based on a commitment and the inextinguishable passion of its founders. The winery is guided by the mastery of modern techniques where viticulture and winemaking come together with architecture and hospitality to create an experience as memorable as it is enjoyable.

About Ontario Wine Awards

Tony Aspler founded the Ontario Wine Awards in 1995. His vision was to catapult Ontario VQA wines into the most successful, most revered wines available to domestic and foreign markets by recognizing and promoting the top Ontario wineries for the quality product they produce.

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