Konzelmann is Niagara’s only lakefront winery, located on the shores of Lake Ontario. The Winery began in the small German town of Uhlbach, near the turn of the 19th century. A restauranteur named Friederich Konzelmann left the culinary trade to pursue the craft of winemaking. Bolstered from previous success in producing house wines for his restaurants, Friederich officially released his first vintage to the public in 1893. He would eventually produce 200,000 litres of excellent wine per year from an array of Germany’s celebrated aromatic varietals.
By 1980 Friedrich’s great grandson Herbert was 43, had a well established business and a growing family.
The winery was expanding and the demand for his product was increasing more quickly than the land could sustain. Contracts with growers were becoming increasingly costly and the price of buying additional land was high. A recreational trip through the wilderness of British Columbia seeded a profound love of the land and rumours of fledgling wine operations in Ontario and the Okanagan perked Herbert’s imagination. Subsequent visits produced evidence that Canada’s wine potential had been drastically underestimated by most of the world.