In 2001, when the Downey family first decided to establish the Downey's Estate Winery, there was a marked determination to assure that the winery bore the same commitment to quality as our well-known Downey's Farm Market.
Downey teamed-up with his three sons, Greg, Ian and Dave to put together a strategic business plan and pool the capital needed to build a first-class, production and retail facility for their endeavour.
The original concept was to build a viable business model that could stand on its own and at the same time complement the well-known Farm Market.
"This has been a family-run business from the get-go and we wanted to keep it that way," says Downey. "Our customers appreciate the fact that we all work on the farm. Our pick-you-own, our special events and entertainment is all family-oriented and the winery is another reason for families to come and visit us."
"We also decided to hire an experienced winemaker with top-notch skills in making fruit wines. We wanted to get it right the first time and make an impression with our customers. Obviously, we made a good decision, the results speak for themselves."
Brian Moreau, Downey’s resident oeneologist, says he is thrilled with the results, but passes the kudos to the Downey family.
"I’ve been making wines for over 25 years, first as a labour of love and then I turned that into a profession. When I first started making wine for a living they were naturally the ones I liked and ones I thought I had perfected. But you never stop learning and trying to build a better mousetrap in this business. That’s what sets you apart from the competition, and it’s very keen in Ontario. In the end it’s the customers who tell you what they want, so I guess you could say they helped win the awards.
"Besides," says Moreau, "every winemaker worth his salt will tell you that great wine starts in the field, so the credit really goes back to the people who grow the fruit."
Award-Winning Wines in Only One Year!
The results were unexpected, and spectacular!
In that first year, the Downey family captured 11 top awards at the Canadian International Wine Challenge (CIWC), part of the 2002 Annual Toronto Wine & Cheese Show.Since then, the wines of Downey Estates has continued to win one award after the other. (See our wine list for awards.)
Downey’s Estate Winery won an unprecedented number of awards for a new winery in Canada. The crowning glory for the new venture was the gold award and best-of-show fry fruit wine honour for the 2002 Black Currant table wine. A hat trick in the gold category was rounded out by Cranberry Ice and Framboise (raspberry dessert wine).
Silver medals were garnered for the Regal Raspberry and Cassis, a dessert version of their now famous Black Currant table wine. Bronze medals were earned by Crimson Cranberry, True Blue, Blackberry and Golden Plum.
Complimentary samples of our wines are always available at the tasting bar!
Gift Baskets with our wines and other products are also Available!