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Meet The Mentors

Donald Ziraldo

Ziraldo Estate Winery

Arguably, Donald Ziraldo is one of the most influential figures in the Canadian wine industry as the co-founder of the first winery in Canada after prohibition (Inniskillin Wines) and founder and chair of the Vinters Quality Alliance (VQA).


Born in St. Catharines, Donald Ziraldo was co-founder and president of Inniskillin Wines inc, Inniskillin Napa Vineyards Inc. and Inniskillin Okanagan Vineyards, Inc.  He also served as co-chair of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute Capital Campaign at Brock University. He worked with Brock University and Niagara College to fund and build the joint vineyard project at Niagara College’s Glendale campus. 


Donald Ziraldo has received numerous outstanding awards, including an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brock University, Enterprise ‘95 Entrepreneur of the Year for Community Contribution, the 1995 Grindley Award, Canadian Institute of Agrologists, the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada, and countless other local honours.

Ziraldo's entrepreneurial experience is deeply rooted in Niagara in a flourishing agricultural industry, specifically in the growing and production of Canadian wine.

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