Grape Grower of the Year (2011-2012)

Ed Hughes

Location:
Hughes Vineyards
Greenlane Rd, Beamsville

 

History:
Ed Hughes interest in grape growing began in the early 1990’s when, as a cook, he attended a Sommelier course to study food and wine affiliations. In 1993 Ed purchased a 3-acre farm in Beamsville and began growing grapes there in 1995. In 1999, Ed expanded his operation by purchasing a well-established 21-acre vineyard that was planted with a combination of hybrid and concord grapes. Today Ed farms over 20-acres of VQA premium quality vinifera grapes.  He sells exclusively to Malivoire Wine Co. in Beamsville and has also developed a business selling high quality grapes to amateur wine makers and a number of wine clubs in Southern Ontario.

As Ed’s interest in viticulture continued to grow, he enrolled in Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute program to learn how to improve the grape quality in his vineyard, with the hopes of starting a small family winery. Over the last 10 years, Ed has started to implement bio-controls in his vineyard and has investigated new ways to improve the sustainability of the vineyard, including developing a more natural ecosystem and experimenting with high density planting. In 2010, Ed was awarded the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence for his innovative work in the vineyard.

Ed lives with his wife, Caroline, and their two children in Beamsville, Ontario.