Gary Pillitteri and Family

Since arriving in Niagara on the Lake, Canada in 1948, the Pillitteri family has been committed to creating a legacy for generations to follow. Now, over six decades later, Pillitteri Estates Winery proudly continues a family tradition of viticulture and winemaking excellence. With three generations actively involved with our winery’s operations, we can truly say that each bottle of wine we make is a product of our family’s passion.

Pillitteri Estates Winery was founded by Gary and Lena Pillitteri in June 1993, and is continued by three generations of the Pillitteri Family. The business started as a roadside fruit stand in the 1960’s called “Gary’s Fruit Market” located in Niagara-on-the-Lake; when the interest in wine from Niagara grew and the first Niagara wineries opened, Gary took the initiative to start the first of the family’s vineyards and planted wine grapes. In 1988, Gary decided to experiment and make a small batch of Vidal Icewine, which won a gold medal! This solidified the idea to open a winery and five years later, after many changes and much hard work, Pillitteri Estates Winery opened on June 5, 1993!

Pillitteri produces 100% local Niagara VQA wines that have received over 1000 wine awards from around the world! Their mission is to create a legacy that respects the family’s Italian ancestry and Canadian roots, and their wine making philosophy is to “produce the finest wines possible from the highest quality Niagara Peninsula grapes. Each vineyard and wine is treated individually since each has its own ‘personality’ that must be expressed,” they write.

Pillitteri is the official wine partner of the Canadian Olympic Team and is a certified Sustainable Winemaker of Ontario – they are committed to our environment and community, and proudly promote Canadian winemaking. Pillitteri’s full-bodied reds; fragrant, lively whites; and luscious Icewines are available at the winery retail shop, liquor stores in most provinces, online, in restaurants and at farmers’ markets!

Terry Weese, the sales representative who sells Pillitteri Wines at our Farmers’ Market, has been with the winery for 5 years, selling at quite a few different markets. She writes that she has “thoroughly enjoyed every moment” and says the hard work is all worth it! Terry loves chatting with her customers and we know our market family would not be the same without her presence. She brings eight wines to our market and knows the intricate details of every one of them. We are assured that tasting the wine is part of her job! If you’re wondering which one is right for you, just ask Terry for a recommendation.

Leaf section divider