Legendary Ontario Vintner
When Jim Warren’s father presented him as a youngster with a small glass of wine to taste during the holidays, neither of them knew that this simple act was the start of a well decorated path in Ontario winemaking.
Today, four decades later, Jim Warren is an historic legend in the Ontario and Canadian wine industry as a teacher, winemaker, consultant and key contributor to Ontario wine production that is now acclaimed around the world.
For those who are unfamiliar with Jim Warren’s prestige, dedication and skill, we are pleased to provide you with an introduction.
Whilst teaching languages at Hamilton High School, Jim Warren became an acclaimed amateur winemaker. His passion did not stop there.
In 1985, with his wife Charlotte and two friends, Jim founded a boutique winery originally called Stoney Ridge Cellars. The winery began its journey in a small barn in Vinemount, within Stoney Creek. Under Jim’s direction, the first vintage they produced consisted of 11 different wines in 500 cases – all created entirely by hand!
Jim nurtured and grew Stoney Ridge, forming partnerships with grape growers to expand the variety of grapes to which the winery had access. Coupled with new tanks, barrels, and a bottling line, Jim ensured that Stoney Ridge’s wine portfolio continued to grow. Over the years, Stoney Ridge became one of Canada’s most awarded wineries and gained a lot of attention across Canada.
In 1997, Jim Warren was named Winemaker Of The Year: a further testament to his talent and sharp focus on quality. In 1998, they sold to a group who moved Stoney Ridge Estate Winery to Vineland where it continued as a highly successful winery, built on Jim Warren’s respect for viticulture excellence and expertise.
In 2000, Jim Warren joined Niagara College and assisted in the development of the Vineyard and Winery Management Program, taking the positions of both its teacher and winemaker. With Jim’s experience in education and winemaking, these roles were a perfect pairing.
As a consultant, Jim Warren assisted with the creation of numerous new wineries in Ontario. The Cuvee Award of Excellence was awarded to Jim in 2007 for his contribution to the wine industry: a prestigious award acknowledging and celebrating the decades of work and time he had passionately dedicated to creating quality wine.
Today, Jim Warren is not only a wine consultant but also an author. In 2018, he published ‘When Concord Was King‘, a fascinating book that fulfilled his desire to outline the history of Ontario’s original wine industry. A second book is on the way, highly anticipated by wine lovers, winemakers and historians alike.
Jim Warren is a legend in the Ontario wine industry, and now you can see why. A lifetime dedicated to the art and craft of winemaking has assisted in building what Ontario has today and, for this, we can all be truly grateful.
We at Windrush Estate Winery sincerely appreciate his help in establishing our winery since 2017 and for creating his signature Jim Warren Classic VQA Chardonnay under the Windrush Estate Winery label for both 2018 and 2019. The latter will be released on December 5th, 2020.
Call us at 905-729-00060 for your personal tasting opportunity.