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2013 Inductees to Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame


November 8, 2013
By Press release

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November 7, 2013, Guelph, Ont – Four Canadians joined the ranks of Canada’s most exceptional individuals as the 2013 inductees into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Lowell Lindsay, John Oliver, the late Honourable John Wise and Donald Ziraldo were formally inducted at a ceremony on November 3, 2013 at the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame awards banquet in Toronto, Ontario.

“This year’s inductees demonstrate the dynamic nature of our industry, and the breadth of dedication, expertise and contributions that have shaped, and continue to shape, the Canadian agricultural landscape,” says Judy Shaw, president of the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association. “It is very exciting for our organization to witness the growing interest within our industry to recognize deserving individuals such as this year’s four inductees.”

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Donald Ziraldo – Nominated by Grape Growers of Ontario, Wine Council of Ontario, Canadian Vintners Association

Donald Ziraldo put Canadian table wines and icewines on the international stage, earning him the name of the pioneer of the Canadian wine industry.

Donald first made headlines in 1975 when he and business partner Karl Kaiser were granted the first winery license in Ontario since the days of prohibition. The Inniskillin Wines brand was born and Canada’s grape and wine industry was headed for a huge transformation. The use of vinifera grapes gave Canadian growers a new opportunity to produce and sell new varieties of grapes, and the stage was set for Canadian vintners to begin making world class, award winning wines that were historically dominated by European wineries.

Through his 40-year career, Donald’s leadership, initiative and drive has built an outstanding international reputation for Canada’s wine industry.

Donald founded Vintners Quality Alliance, a framework to uphold the quality and authenticity of Ontario wines. He was the driving force behind Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. Donald was instrumental in getting the Niagara College Culinary Tourism Institute off the ground – to provide education in culinary arts and complement Canadian wines. And he chaired the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre from 2007-2011.

Donald has been honoured with the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Wine Institute, as well as Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Awards by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.