It all began in 1927 when Andrew Peller first arrived in Canada from Hungary. He landed in Halifax, leaving his wife and new born son Joe back in Hungary. He found a job at a local brewery. and soon Lena and Joe were able to join him and they settled into the comfort and familiarity of the local German-Canadian community. But Andrew was restless and wanted to embrace the Canadian culture and the opportunity that the country offered so they headed to Toronto. He quickly found work at another brewer.
Andrew opened Peller’s Brewery in Hamilton, Ontario, the first new brewery built since prohibition in Canada. Having owned a series of successful businesses, he came here to finally pursue his dream. He envisioned a day when Canadians, like Europeans, would come to appreciate premium quality wines and enjoy sharing them with family and friends. Restless again, he sold the brewery to E.P. Taylor and moved to BC. He bought a farm, planted some vineyards and got a license to build and operate a winery just east of Vancouver. From those early beginnings in Port Moody, B.C. in 1961, Andrés Wines was born. And, with the early success of Baby Duck, the company took off and in 1964 added wineries in Calgary, Alberta, and Truro, Nova Scotia.
He pursued his goal and established Andrés Wines Ltd., the youngest of the large Canadian wineries in Port Moody, B.C. in 1961. The name Andrés was chosen as the closest to Andrew Peller's baptismal name 'Andreas', but with a French flair. In 1970 Andrés entered the Ontario market with the purchase of Beau Chatel Wines in Winona. In 1974 Andrés moved into Quebec with the founding of Les Vins Andrés in St. Hyacinthe. In 1975 Andrés purchased the Valley Rouge Winery located in Morris, Manitoba. The Manitoba location closed in 1992 and in 1994 Andrés acquired Hillebrand Estates Winery, Canada's largest producer of VQA and premium wines, located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Andrew's son, Dr. Joseph Peller joined Andrés in 1965 and subsequently took over as President & CEO in 1970. In 1989, third generation John E. Peller joined the company as Vice President Sales & Market Planning. In 1993, Dr. Joseph Peller relinquished his Presidency and in 1995, his position as CEO to his son John. Ten years later changed the name from Andrés Wines to Andrew Peller Limited to celebrate his grandfather and his timeless vision.
In 2001, after more than six years in the planning, Peller Estates Winery was officially opened in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. This new winery clearly reflected the dreams and vision of Andrew Peller and is a testament to all he achieved in his lifetime.
2006 marked the 46 year history of the company and a corporate name change from Andrés Wines Ltd., to Andrew Peller Limited was completed in honour of the company's founder Andrew Peller. In his announcement on the corporate name change, John Peller, President & CEO wrote "...our new name is the best embodiment of our timeless vision - it is true to who we were, who we are today, and who, as we continue to grow, we will always be."
The Company's award-winning premium and ultra-premium brands include Peller Estates, Trius, Hillebrand, Thirty Bench, Sandhill, Copper Moon, Calona Vineyards Artist Series VQA wines and Red Rooster. In 2017 they purchased three British Columbia wineries of note, Tinhorn Creek, Black Hills Estates and Gray Monk Vineyards.
Their brands includes, Roundpedal,Copper Moon, XOXO, skinnygrape, Verano
and Croc Crossing. Hochtaler, Domaine D’Or, Schloss Laderheim, Royal, and Sommet. The Company imports bottled
wines from around the world and markets them through Grady Wine Marketing (“GWM”), and The Small Winemakers
Collection Inc. (“SWM”).
Other key brands that the company has in the value blended segment
are Royal, Franciscan, Baby Canadian, Schloss Laderheim, and Baby Duck. The Company also sells value priced fortified
wines, with Fine Old Sherry being the largest brand. Panama Jack, a wine based Irish cream liquor product that sells in Ontario.
The Company's products are sold predominantly in Canada. The company also represents a broad range of international brands through its two import divisions, Grady Wine Marketing in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and The Small Winemakers Collection in Ontario. Andrew Peller Limited common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbols ADW.A and ADW
In 1994, Andrew Peller (90) died. His last wishes were that his ashes be scattered in Halifax harbour as that for him was where it all began, with hope.