Jonathan Boyle is our Chief Winemaker here at Windrush Estate Winery. Anyone who has met Jonathan will know how welcoming he is, and how passionately he talks about wine.
We wanted to share a little more about Jonathan and how he came to work at Windrush, as our Chief Winemaker, he is a key and valuable part of our team! The below is an autobiographical account, written by Jonathan himself. If you want to see more, please check out our previous posts on wine tasting. We have a few short videos featuring Jonathan tasting wine direct from the tank and barrels! Click here for Pinot Noir, and here for Chardonnay.
Meeting up with my former Winemaking Professor from Niagara College, Jim Warren, led me to Windrush Estate Winery in Hockley at the end of harvest of 2018. I was able to fill him on the time I had spent in Australia, British Columbia and the emerging wine region of Northern Virginia working alongside another Niagara College grad. I ultimately had a feeling of obligation to leave Virginia after three years to come home and help with my grandmother who was succumbing to dementia. Spending time under contract at The Foreign Affair winery, and then moving on to the Assistant Winemaker roll at Megalomaniac winery, both allowed me to re-establish myself back within the Ontario wine industry. Feeling I needed a change and some flexibility in scheduling to focus on family matters, I left Megalomaniac to explore life within the LCBO, all while being able to sneak some harvest work in with my friends at Creekside. Eventually, I realized that getting my hands dirty and making a mess with grapes is where my interest truly lives; and, just as importantly, winemaking gives me a much better chance to interact with guests on a much more meaningful level.
After making the choice to leave the sales side of the industry (where I got my start 20 years ago) I was able to spend harvest with an awesome group of people at Cloudsley Cellars in Vineland, Ontario. Jim had made a stop in to check out the custom crush operation while he was touring around checking on vineyard sites for John and Marilyn. We were able to catch up on the last several years and he thought I would be a perfect fit for this exciting endeavour.
Chief Winemaker, Windrush Estate Winery