Donald Ziraldo
Donald Ziraldo


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• Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, October 13, 1948 to Fredrick and Irma (Schiratti)

• Graduated Denis Morris High School, St. Catharines in 1967

• Received B.Sc. in Agriculture at the University of Guelph 1971 (BSc)

• Awarded Honorary Degree, Humber College

• Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, Brock University, 1994 (LLD)

• Order of Ontario, 1993

• Order of Canada, 1998

• Top 25 Canadian CEOs of the Century, National Post Business Magazine, 1999

• Honourary Citizenship (Friuli Venzia Julia), Italy

• Author: Icewine; Extreme Winemaking (2007, in book stores now)


• Director, Shaftesbury Films

• Member of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists

• Founding Chair Vintners' Quality Alliance 1988-1995

• Member, Academie Internationale du Vin (AIV) – inducted December 2000

• Member Greenbelt Advisory Task Force

• Director, Cannasat Therapeutics Inc.

• Chair, Grape & Wine Coordination Research Committee, 2004

• Board Member/Industry Advisor, CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers)

• Honorary Board Member, The International Wine Institute, 2005

• Board of Advisors, Zerofootprint

• Chair, Vineland Renaissance Advisory Panel – 2006

• Chair, Vineland Research & Innovation Centre Board – 2007

• RTN Stealth Software Inc - Board


• President (1975-2006) Inniskillin Wines Inc., Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

• President (since 1994) Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards Inc., Oliver, British Columbia

• Director, Vincor International Inc. (1993–2004)

• Member, Team Canada Inc. Advisory Board

• Member, Canadian Tourism Council

• Board of Governors, Shaw Festival Theatre, Niagara-on-the-Lake

• Co-Chair, Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute Capital Campaign, Brock Univ.

• Campaign Chair, Niagara College Foundation “Future Ready” Capital Campaign


• Ontario Hostelry Institute Chairman's Award, 1991

• TAMA Marketer of the Year, 1993

• Silver Ladle Award, Toronto Culinary Guild

• Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies Degree, Niagara College 2004

• Winery Management Magazine; Distinguished Achievement Award, 1994

• Outstanding Business Person of the Year, St. Catharines Adv. and Sales Assoc., 1994

• Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, Institute for Enterprise Education, 1994

• Awarded Medal of Achievement at Guelph

• Grindley Medal, Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC), 1995

• Entrepreneur of the Year for Community Contribution: Enterprise ‘95, 1995

• Award of Merit, Ontario Grape Growers; Marketing Board, 1997

• Special Recognition Award, The Elsie Awards, LCBO, 1997

• Lifetime Achievement Award, Enterprise ‘98, Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

• Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Wine Institute, 1999

• Lifetime Achievement Award for Food and Beverage Excellence,

- The Sixth Annual New World of Food and Wine Festival Singapore, 2002

• Niagara Wine Festival Royal Bank's Business Citizen of the Year, 2002

• Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's 50th anniversary Golden Jubilee Award, 2002

• Award for Business Excellence, Canadian Italian Business Professional Association, 2002

• McGill Management Achievement Award, McGill University, 2003

• Canadian Italian National Award, Ottawa, 2003

• Business Excellence Award, The Cdn. Italian Business & Prof. Assoc. of Toronto, 2005

• VinCambridge Award of Excellence, Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser, 2006

• Lifetime Achievement in Tourism Award, Ont. Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp., 2007

• 1991 - OHI (Ontario Hostilery Institute) Chairman's Gold Award

• 2013 Donald Ziraldo inducted in Agriculture Hall of Fame

Icewine: Extreme Winemaking by Inniskillin Wines co-founders Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser is a beautifully illustrated book that reveals the painstaking methods and skills used to create one of Canada's most desired delicacies - Icewine.


The 2008 Masi Prize goes to a wine producer and far sighted Canadian, the creator of the Icewine category and of Inniskillin winery - Donald Ziraldo

The Masi Foundation’s Civiltΰ Del Vino Prize means Donald Ziraldo receives a special cask of Amarone, the prince of wines for the Venetian region and a type of wine of which Masi is one of the acknowledged leading proponents. One of the reasons for Ziraldo’s award is his focus on research and innovation for the wine of his region, in this case Niagara in Canada, to such an extent that he created the reputation of the region for making and exporting high quality wines with personality


Once again Donald Ziraldo returns to the production of Niagara Icewine. with Ziraldo Riesling Icewine 2007

There are only 400 cases made of the 2007 Ziraldo Riesling Icewine. He's planted enough Riesling at the old family property to cover about that much Ziraldo explains he was goaded into getting back into making and selling wine when his friend John Howard of Megalomaniac Wines offered him his surplus icewine just as his non-compete was about to expire. Ziraldo asked Karl Kaiser to supervise the vinification and the master winemaker created a premium wine that Ziraldo is offering a $60 for a standard half bottle. The wine exhibits an altogether appropriate peachiness, with a refreshing mago twang. Sitting in Ziraldo's living room on a dull November morning, the wine's more lemony acidic note kept me sipping until my glass was empty. Luckily at 8% alcohol by volume the effects of the glass were minimal – could this be the perfect breakfast wine? In all seriousness, it is light and playful enough – without being overly sweet – to be an aperitif. It is also, of course, a highly sophisticated dessert wine.

Donald Ziraldo

Now there is Equifera Icewine. Equifera Estate Winery is located in the Short Hills sub-appellation of the Niagara Peninsula—world renown for award winning, Canadian Icewine . This beautiful 50 acre Estate was once home to champion racehorses in the 1950s and 1960s. The Equifera name is derived from "Equus Ferus," the binomial name for "Wild Horse," and exemplifies the spirit, grace and passion that is put into the making of this fine wine. Equifera offers Cabernet Franc,Riesling and Vidal Icewines

"Icewine could be one of the greatest experiences you will have in your life tasting wine" Vintner, Donald Ziraldo

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Karl Kaiser
Donald Triggs
Harry McWatters



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