Grape Growers of Ontario re-elect Matthias Oppenlaender as Board Chair

The Grape Growers of Ontario are pleased to announce that Matthias Oppenlaender has been re-elected as Chair of the Board of Directors for 2017/18.

Matthias was selected as Grape King by his fellow grape growers in 2006 as an ambassador to represent the industry at events across the country. The following year Matthias was elected to the Grape Growers of Ontario’s Growers’ Committee and to the Board of Directors. In 2009 Matthias became Vice Chair of the Board, a position he held until being elected Chair in 2016. Matthias, his wife Monica and their five children live in Niagara-on-the-Lake where they farm over 400 acres of vineyards, and own Country Tyme Vineyards and Huebel Grape Estates.

“The Board is focused on working with the government and our industry partners on strengthening Ontario’s grape and wine industry. I look forward to continuing to represent Ontario’s grape growers as Board Chair during the 2017/18 term,” said Matthias Oppenlaender.

Bill Schenck, a fourth-generation grape grower in St. Catharines, has been re-elected Vice Chair of the Board of Directors. Bill has served on the GGO Growers’ Committee and Board since 2009, the same year he was Grape King, and represents the Grape Growers of Ontario on a number of industry committees including the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, Niagara Regional Agricultural Policy and Action Committee, and the Canadian Grapevine Certification Committee.

The Board of Directors includes representation from across Ontario including Kevin Watson and Erwin Wiens of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Doug Funk Jr. of Lincoln, Brock Puddicombe of Winona, and Scott Wilkins of Amherstburg, who are all part way through their terms as Directors. Steve Pohorly of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Jim Morrison of Lincoln have been re-elected, and Robert Peck is newly elected to represent growers from Prince Edward County. Robert and his wife Sally are the owners of Sugarbush Vineyards in Hillier, Ontario. Robert can be reached at