Meet Levi, winemaker and frontline food worker.

Meet Levi de Loryn – brand winemaker for Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery and a man with a fascinating history making wine around the globe. Native to Australia (and with a great accent, of course), Levi has called Canada his home for 10 years, settling in the Niagara Region with his family.

Wine is food which means Levi and his team, including an assistant winemaker, cellar hands and lab techs, are like other frontline workers in Ontario – they are deemed essential. The COVID-19 global pandemic has certainly changed the environment for producing wine with new protocols for occupational health and safety, but it’s tight knit family at Jackson-Triggs where employees take care of each other and their customers.

Although the process for winemaking has changed, demand hasn’t slowed one bit. Canadians have shown tremendous commitment purchasing wines and showing their support for great tasting, local vintages.

For Levi and other winemakers, their busiest time of the year is near and that’s harvest. Grapes for sparkling wines are the first to be picked in late August/early September and ice wine varieties come last as late as February. The harvest season brings out global harvesters, students, sommeliers keen to learn more about production and wine lovers.

Jackson-Triggs is a unique boutique winery purpose-built, which at capacity can hold up to 1 million litres of wine. It’s a gorgeous place with a venue for concerts and celebration. Popular cellar tours are being re-introduced slowly and carefully but everyone is being incredibly respectful and understanding of safety constraints. And similar to other wineries in the region, it is offering retail shopping, grab & go food and wine tastings by appointment.

During this difficult time, the wine sector is proving to be not just an exciting but a resilient business in Canada. “People have been incredibly supportive of local wineries and brand loyal through all of our shared challenges. It continues to be a great time to work in the wine industry and on the frontline as part of Ontario’s food and beverage industry,” said Levi de Loryn, Winemaker, Jackson-Triggs.

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