The Story of Reif
One of Niagara-on-the-Lake's founding family wineries, founded in 1982 by Ewald Reif and later acquired by nephew Klaus W. Reif. Today, Reif produces wines from its vineyard first planted in 1977. Our 125 acre farm is located in the Niagara River sub-appellation where sun-loving grape varieties grow best. The easterly facing slopes and long growing season are moderated by the river as air currents ward off early spring and late fall frosts.
Our vineyard is located in Ontario's warmest sub-appellation, ideal for the production of rich full-bodied wines. But time matters too. Our farm is also home to some of the oldest vinifera plantings in Canada, a benefit to growers in cooler climates like Ontario, as mature vines ripen earlier. They also produce wines that reflect the 'terroir', so when you taste our wines you will taste the essence of our vineyard.
Willy and Lina Reif
Klaus' paternal grandparents are married becoming 11th generation winemakers
Ewald Reif is born in Germany
Ewald Reif would later move to Canada founding Reif Estate Vineyards
Locals work together to harvest the vineyards
Wine break for Klaus' grandfather on the farm pictured on the right
Willy and Lina Reif
Willy and Lina Reif pictured on the right with a neighbour.
Klaus Willi Reif is born in Germany
Klaus is born in Lachen-Speyerdorf, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
Klaus' grandmother pictured on the farm pictured in the centre.
Ruth Reif and Angelika
Ruth Reif (Aunt to Klaus Reif, Sister to Ewald Reif) in the cellar with neighbour Angelika.
Klaus at age three on the family tractor.
Eli and Marion Reif
Klaus' mother and sister in the family vineyard.
Eli Reif with Juergen Reif
Klaus's mother with Juergen, cousin to Klaus.
Klaus and Marion Reif
Klaus with his cousin Marion.
Ruth (Reif) and husband Karl Heinz
Ruth Reif (Aunt to Klaus Reif, Sister to Ewald Reif) on the farm with husband Karl.
Ruth & Karl
Ruth Reif (Ewald’s Sister) and her husband Karl Heinz
Vineyards founded by Ewald Reif
Ewald Reif arrives in Canada and purchases Riverscourt Farm and plants vinifera vines.
Ewald grows grapes for new Ontario winery, Inniskillin.
Klaus graduates buiness school
Klaus readies himself for winemaking school in Germany.
The 1870's Coach House of the Riverscourt Estate is refurbished.
New winery tanks
Gunther Reif ships new tanks to Canada.
German Barrels Restored
Gunther Reif re-assembles German Barrels shipped from Germany.
German Barrels In Place
Ewald Reif inspecting German Barrel Cellar.
Brothers Ewald and Gunther Reif
New winery opens in partnership.
Klaus' father, brother of Ewald Reif pictured in new winery offices.
Ewald Reif pictured in new winery offices.
Ewald Reif, John Boese and Gunther Reif (L-R)
Founding brothers with previous farm owner, John Boese.
Toronto Wine and Cheese Show
Cynthis Reif, Gunther Reif and Ewald Reif (L-R).
Klaus visits Canada
Klaus visits his Uncle and falls in love with Canada.
Klaus graduates Geisenheim
Klaus gradutes with winemaking degree from top German institute.
Tasting wine in the German Barrel Cellar.
Klaus moves to Canada
Klaus takes over the winery reigns for his father Gunther.
Accolades from Robert Parker Jr.
Vidal Icewine hits top ten wine list of the year.
Klaus’ first Icewine harvest
Gewurztraminer Icewine harvest.
New Winemaker Roberto DiDomenico
After graduating from University of Guelph Roberto joins the team.
Toronto Wine and Cheese Show
Klaus Reif and Daniel Gehres.
Expansion of Winery
New Production Facility and Underground Barrel Cellar are constructed.
A new partnership is forged reuniting the past
Grand Victorian Mansion from the original Riverscourt Estate becomes home to winery weddings.
Tesoro takes International Gold
Roberto's 1995 Meritage wins gold at International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Grand Gold awarded at Vinitaly
1998 Vidal Icewine granted coveted and presigious award.
Best Icewine and Best Canadian Winery at International Competition
Klaus travels to England to accept coveted awards at Wine and Spirit International Competition.
Winemakers’ Selection for Best Red Wine at Cuvée Wine Awards
Roberto's 2002 Meritage is recognized by his peers.
Gold at Cuvée Wine Awards
2001 First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon takes top honours in its category.
Best Sweet Wine Trophy awarded at Cuvée
2002 Vidal Icewine wins coveted trophy.
Wine of the Year at Ontario Wine Awards
2002 Vidal Icewine steals the show.
Three Gold’s presented at Ontario Wine Awards
A hat trick - Gold for 2006 Chenin Blanc, 2002 First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon and 2002 First Growth Merlot
Best Sweet Wine Trophy and Best Meritage Award at Cuvée Wine Awards
2004 Vidal Icewine and 2002 First Growth Cabernet Merlot bring it home for winemaker Roberto.
Wine Sensory Garden opens to Mark Milestone Anniversaries
Celebration of 25 years of winemaking and 30 years of grape growing.
Best Sweet Wine Trophy awarded again at Cuvée Wine Awards
2005 Vidal Icewine secures a home for trophy at Reif for another year.
Wine Spectator gives top Ontario red scores for two First Growths
88 for the Reif Estate First Growth Cabernet Merlot and a score of 87 for Reif Estate First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grand Opening of New Wine Boutique
A new home for visitors with chic Sensory Wine Bar.
Legislative Assembly of Ontario Red of the Year
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve has a home in Legislature for the year.
Klaus receives Lifetime Achievement Award
The Ontario Wine Society recognizes Klaus' contributions to our industry.
Old World Stone Fountain installed
Custom Stone Wine Barrel built by Master Artisan Stone Masons.
Klaus receives Established Enterprise Award
Klasu is recognized at the Niagara Entrepreneaur Awards Ceremony.
Gold at International Wine Challenge
2012 Vidal Icewine upholds a tradition of awards of excellence.
Gold at International Wine and Spirits Challenge
2012 Vidal Icewine is recognized again at prestigious International Competition.
Vineyards planted in Niagara Falls for future winery location
A new parternship is forged with the Carmelites.
River Road Collection is launched
New wine collection celebrates the bounty of our regional appellation.
Outdoor Kitchen opens in Sensory Garden
Visitors are invited to spend a bit more time enjoying food and wine.
Chamber of Commerce President’s Award
The unique partnership of Reif Estate Winery and Grand Victorian Mansion is recognized by community peers.
Monastery Cellars Opens
New Winery location will be the first of its kind only steps away from majestic Niagara Falls.