Wes Wiens Crowned 2013 Grape King

Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Farm Credit Canada, the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival are pleased to announce that Wes Wiens of Wiens Family Farms in Niagara-on-the-Lake has been named the 2013 Grape King.

“Farm Credit Canada has been a longtime supporter of Ontario’s grape farmers, and is extremely pleased to honour Wes Wiens as this year’s Grape King,” says John Geurtjens, Director, Agribusiness and Agri-Food Ontario, Farm Credit Canada. 

Wes was born and raised on a grape and tender fruit farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake where he, along with his parents and three siblings worked, learning the value of a dollar as well as gaining the innovative work ethic that has carried his family through the highs and lows of farming. 

Now married, his wife Briar and their four children continue to farm with Wes’ family.  Together with his brother Gary, his wife Lauren and their parents Abe and Agnes, they have transitioned to focus solely on vineyards. In addition to numerous experimental plots for varietal, clonal and rootstock comparison, the Wiens family vineyards consist of 19 varieties planted on 400 acres which they supply to four local wineries. 

 “We are thrilled to have Wes serve as the 2013 Grape King and be the ambassador for Ontario’s grape growing industry,” says Grape Growers of Ontario Chair, Bill George. “Wes is a young, dynamic figure who has quickly established himself as a leader in viticulture innovation.”

Debbie Zimmerman, Chief Executive Office of the Grape Growers of Ontario, says “The annual crowning of the Grape King is recognition of the best that Ontario’s grape growers have to offer.”

As Grape King, Wiens will represent Ontario’s grape and wine industry at events across the country, starting with the Mayor’s Grape Stomp on September 21st and a float in the 62nd annual CIBC Grande Parade on September 28th.

“The Wiens family represent a truly Canadian grape growing legacy and we are honoured to have Wes, Briar and their family represent the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival from coast to coast,” says Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival.

Whether providing grapes to the wineries they grow for, custom services such as planting, trellising and harvesting, or supplying the Canadian industry with grapevine nursery stock and expertise, the Wiens family has dedicated themselves to providing the highest quality in products and services specifically catered to the Canadian Grape and Wine industry.

Wes Wiens will be officially installed as the 57th Grape King on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3 p.m at 1178 Concession Road 6, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Details and directions can be found at www.grapegrowersofontario.com.

About the Grape Growers of Ontario

The Grape Growers of Ontario is the official organization that represents over 500 registered grower members on 17,000 acres in the province’s three viticulture areas: Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County.

Follow Grape Growers of Ontario on Twitter @Grapegrowersont, like it on Facebook and get more information at www.grapegrowersofontario.com.

About Farm Credit Canada

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is proud to support Canadian agriculture. FCC has been in business over 50 years, with a portfolio of over $25 billion, more than 100,000 customers and more than 1500 employees serving them from coast to coast. We are focused on the long term success of agriculture and agribusiness and agri-food. FCC is a team of professionals that support primary agriculture (grape growers) as well as serving agribusiness and agri-food companies (wineries). Agriculture, we know it, we love it and we’re in it for the long run. For more information, visit www.fcc-fac.ca


For more information, please contact:

Debbie Zimmerman
CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario