Hairdresser Makes History and gets a Request From The Queen
October 21, 2002 - For Immediate Release

VINELAND, Ont.,Canada : When Canadian winemaker Joseph DeMaria named his winery "Royal DeMaria Wines 'Canada's Icewine Specialists," little did he know it would attract the attention of the world's most famous monarch, Queen Elizabeth of England. But earlier this month, when the winery received word that Her Royal Highness had requested his internationally award-winning icewine, DeMaria promptly assembled a gift package for the Queen, valued at $3,400, including a 1999 Riesling Icewine valued at $1,800 (Cdn.).

The six wines, made from prized vinifera grapes grown in Niagara, the province of Ontario's prime grape growing and winemaking region, were soon on their way to the royal party during the Queen's visit to Canada.

It has been an interesting journey for this 41-year-old hairdresser-turned-winemaker who works at his hair salon 2 days a week, and has turned his talents from coiffure to terroir in the last three years. Since he discovered an "accidental" winemaking technique in 1998, DeMaria has been making some of the world's most elegant icewines. In the last three years, Royal DeMaria Wines has captured 84 international awards, 54 this year alone - an even more remarkable accomplishment when you consider that DeMaria, a self-taught winemaker, never enters the same varietal twice. The Vineland-based winery was anointed as one of the world's finest producers when its 1999 Riesling Icewine was awarded with the Olympiades du Vin Gold Medal, the highest possible honour from VinExpo, the world's leading wine and spirits exhibition.

Earlier this year, Royal DeMaria Wines, Canada's Icewine Specialists, came away with five gold trophies from the prestigious VinExpo, Les Citadelles du Vin 2002. Judges at the competition held May 12 - 14 in Bordeaux, France acknowledged the winemaking excellence of Royal DeMaria's 2000 Vidal Icewine, 2000 Gewurztraminer Icewine, 2000 Pinot Gris Icewine and the debut vintages of its 2000 Gamay Icewine and 2000 Chardonnay Icewine.

It is the first time in the awards history that any winery has won five gold medals within the same category and the second consecutive year that Royal DeMaria has brought home the top award from the renowned Bordeaux competition.

Joseph DeMaria will be receiving his awards at booth #KL 42 at VinExpo America, which is being held at the Jacob K. Javits Conference Center in New York from October 22 - 24.

Since this award was first won by a Canadian winery in 1991, Royal DeMaria Wines is the only Canadian winery to win 6 such awards. Formerly known as the Olympiades du Vin, the Civart Trophy and the Grand Prix d'Honneur, the Citadelles du Vin is an annual international competition organized within the framework of VinExpo, the most prestigious wine and spirits exhibition in the world.

"Our icewines are consistently celebrated as being amongst the elite wines of the world," said DeMaria, who produced his first vintage in 1998.

Producing only Icewine, Royal DeMaria Wines works with 12 grape varieties, including Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Muscat Ottonel and Sauvignon Blanc. In its three-year history, the estate wine producer has amassed a total of 84 medals in worldwide competitions. Royal DeMaria Wines is an estate producer with 25 acres of terroir vineyards in the designated viticultural area of Niagara, in Southern Ontario, Canada.

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