There is more to the wine in your glass or the juice in your cup than the taste, colour and aroma. The hard work of hundreds of Ontario grape growing families make up the quality of what is in your glass.
Meet the Growers
The Spinosa Family
Sally and Rob Peck
Murray and Ann Wilson
You might say that wine runs in Trevor Falk’s blood. In the 1930s, his grandfather was one of the first farmers to recognize the Niagara region’s grape-growing potential, and in the 1970s, his parents became pioneers in Ontario’s wine industry. Even as a boy, Trevor looked forward to the day he’d take over the family operation, and he’s already got plans for the fourth generation of Falks.
Trevor Falk comes by his passion for viticulture honestly—his heritage goes back to the very beginnings of Ontario’s wine story, when his grandfather decided to devote part of his farmland to nurturing a small vineyard.
When Trevor’s parents took over, they were among the first in the region to grow grapes for what was essentially a non-existent wine industry. “There was a belief that Vinifera grapes couldn’t be grown in our climate,” he says. A few people, however, “hefted cautiously into some new plantings, just to see if it was possible.”
The Falks passed their optimism on to their child. At a young age, Trevor learned to love the vineyards, and planned to one day give his own children that same wonderful experience. There was never any doubt in his mind that he would take over the business, and today, his vineyards now represent one of Ontario’s largest operations, where he, his wife, Stephanie, and his father, grow some of the province’s finest aromatic whites and full-bodied reds in what they consider to be the ideal soil outside Niagara-on-the-Lake.
One of Trevor’s greatest joys is realizing the dream his grandparents envisioned so long ago. That’s why he’s committed to maintaining a traditional family business and resisting over-commercialization. “It comes down to staff,” he says. “Without good staff, it’s impossible to balance the two.”
It’s no surprise, then, that he considers his local employees and many of his migrant workers—some of whom have been coming back for 20 years or more—to be his second family. “I consider them a real extension of my own family,” he says. “They’re such a great complement to our operation.”
And it works. Combining his strong traditional values with an investment in the best technology the world of viticulture has to offer, Trevor has become a major contributor to the premium wines coming out of Ontario over the years.
Now that he has children of his own, Trevor’s committed to keeping the family passion alive. His great hope is that his son and daughter will grow up in an Ontario market that’s even thirstier for local wines, and that Falk Farms will continue to flourish for generations to come.