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Dan Aykroyd is Ontario’s newest grape grower

is Ontario’s newest grape grower


March 27, 2008
By Marg Land


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Dan Aykroyd is Ontario’s newest grape grower. And he has the sign to prove it.

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Canadian actor Dan Aykroyd shows off his new Grape Growers of Ontario membership sign, presented to him during the Niagara Wine Festival’s Scotiabank Celebrity Luncheon. Doug Hernder, Ontario’s 2005-2006 Grape King, right, helped with the presentation. Photo by Denis Cahill, courtesy of the Grape Growers of Ontario 

Dan Aykroyd is Ontario’s newest grape grower. And he has the sign to prove it.

The Grape Growers of Ontario (GGO) officially welcomed the celebrated Canadian actor and grape and wine investor into the Niagara family of grape growers, presenting him with his very own GGO farm sign during a recent visit to the region. Aykroyd was serving as the guest of honour during the 23rd annual Niagara Wine Festival Scotiabank Celebrity Luncheon, hosted by the GGO.

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“This will look great on the barn,” he quipped while admiring the purple membership sign.

“You’re supposed to put it by your vineyard,” explained GGO chief executive officer Debbie Zimmerman.

Aykroyd admits he’s come a long way from the days when his wine of choice was Baby candlescapesDuck. With his celebrity has come “worldwide fame,” something he plans to use to help promote Ontario wines around the globe.

“I have more than enough of it to go around. And we’re going to use it for the purpose of bringing Niagara-grown wines to the far-flung reaches of the world,” he said to a rousing round of applause from the more than 400 luncheon attendees.

Aykroyd is already on record as being committed to serving Canadian wines at his 10 House of Blues restaurants, currently located across the U.S. The chain of nightclubs is the third largest purveyor of live music in North America and there are plans to expand the network to 20 venues within the U.S., Canada and Europe over the next 10 years. “(I) look forward to taking Canadian wines to the world through the nightclub network House of Blues and promoting these products in other markets,” he said.

A year ago, Aykroyd invested $1 million in Niagara Cellars Inc., which includes Lakeview Cellars, Birchwood Estates Wines, EastDell Estates and Thomas & Vaughn wineries. He plans to release a new line of Dan Aykroyd-labelled wines in 2007 – the Dan Aykroyd Signature Reserve Series and the Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series. The first wine to be released will be his Signature Reserve VQA Niagara Peninsula Vidal Icewine 2005, which has already been fully subscribed.

“Canadian icewine is known internationally for its uniqueness and excellence,” he stated. “Launching my premium line of wines with this Canadian icon could not be more fitting.”


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