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

1936

Willy and Lina Reif

Klaus' paternal grandparents are married becoming 11th generation winemakers

Ewald Reif is born in Germany

1937

Ewald Reif is born in Germany

Ewald Reif would later move to Canada founding Reif Estate Vineyards

Harvesting

1959

Harvesting

Locals work together to harvest the vineyards

Willy Reif

1960

Willy Reif

Wine break for Klaus' grandfather on the farm pictured on the right

Willy and Lina Reif

1960

Willy and Lina Reif

Willy and Lina Reif pictured on the right with a neighbour.

Klaus Willi Reif is born in Germany

1963

Klaus Willi Reif is born in Germany

Klaus is born in Lachen-Speyerdorf, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Lina Reif

1965

Lina Reif

Klaus' grandmother pictured on the farm pictured in the centre.

Ruth Reif and Angelika

1965

Ruth Reif and Angelika

Ruth Reif (Aunt to Klaus Reif, Sister to Ewald Reif) in the cellar with neighbour Angelika.

Klaus Reif

1966

Klaus Reif

Klaus at age three on the family tractor.

Eli and Marion Reif

1966

Eli and Marion Reif

Klaus' mother and sister in the family vineyard.

Eli Reif with Juergen Reif

1967

Eli Reif with Juergen Reif

Klaus's mother with Juergen, cousin to Klaus.

Lina Reif

1968

Lina Reif

Grandmother Lina.

Klaus and Marion Reif

1968

Klaus and Marion Reif

Klaus with his cousin Marion.

Ruth (Reif) and husband Karl Heinz

1970

Ruth (Reif) and husband Karl Heinz

Ruth Reif (Aunt to Klaus Reif, Sister to Ewald Reif) on the farm with husband Karl.

Ruth & Karl

1973

Ruth & Karl

Ruth Reif (Ewald’s Sister) and her husband Karl Heinz

Vineyards founded by Ewald Reif

1977

Vineyards founded by Ewald Reif

Ewald Reif arrives in Canada and purchases Riverscourt Farm and plants vinifera vines.

Ewald Reif

1980

Ewald Reif

Ewald grows grapes for new Ontario winery, Inniskillin.

1980

Klaus graduates buiness school

Klaus readies himself for winemaking school in Germany.

Winery Opens

1982

Winery Opens

The 1870's Coach House of the Riverscourt Estate is refurbished.

New winery tanks

1982

New winery tanks

Gunther Reif ships new tanks to Canada.

German Barrels Restored

1982

German Barrels Restored

Gunther Reif re-assembles German Barrels shipped from Germany.

German Barrels In Place

1982

German Barrels In Place

Ewald Reif inspecting German Barrel Cellar.

Brothers Ewald and Gunther Reif

1983

Brothers Ewald and Gunther Reif

New winery opens in partnership.

Gunther Reif

1983

Gunther Reif

Klaus' father, brother of Ewald Reif pictured in new winery offices.

Ewald Reif

1983

Ewald Reif

Ewald Reif pictured in new winery offices.

Ewald Reif, John Boese and Gunther Reif (L-R)

1985

Ewald Reif, John Boese and Gunther Reif (L-R)

Founding brothers with previous farm owner, John Boese.

Toronto Wine and Cheese Show

1985

Toronto Wine and Cheese Show

Cynthis Reif, Gunther Reif and Ewald Reif (L-R).

1985

Klaus visits Canada

Klaus visits his Uncle and falls in love with Canada.

Klaus graduates Geisenheim

1987

Klaus graduates Geisenheim

Klaus gradutes with winemaking degree from top German institute.

Gunther Reif

1987

Gunther Reif

Tasting wine in the German Barrel Cellar.

Klaus moves to Canada

1987

Klaus moves to Canada

Klaus takes over the winery reigns for his father Gunther.

Accolades from Robert Parker Jr.

1987

Accolades from Robert Parker Jr.

Vidal Icewine hits top ten wine list of the year.

Klaus’ first Icewine harvest

1988

Klaus’ first Icewine harvest

Gewurztraminer Icewine harvest.

New Winemaker Roberto DiDomenico

1989

New Winemaker Roberto DiDomenico

After graduating from University of Guelph Roberto joins the team.

Toronto Wine and Cheese Show

1990

Toronto Wine and Cheese Show

Klaus Reif and Daniel Gehres.

1991

Expansion of Winery

New Production Facility and Underground Barrel Cellar are constructed.

A new partnership is forged reuniting the past

1994

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

1997

Tesoro takes International Gold

Roberto's 1995 Meritage wins gold at International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Grand Gold awarded at Vinitaly

2000

Grand Gold awarded at Vinitaly

1998 Vidal Icewine granted coveted and presigious award.

Best Icewine and Best Canadian Winery at International Competition

2002

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

2003

Winemakers’ Selection for Best Red Wine at Cuvée Wine Awards

Roberto's 2002 Meritage is recognized by his peers.

Gold at Cuvée Wine Awards

2004

Gold at Cuvée Wine Awards

2001 First Growth Cabernet Sauvignon takes top honours in its category.

2005

Best Sweet Wine Trophy awarded at Cuvée

2002 Vidal Icewine wins coveted trophy.

Wine of the Year at Ontario Wine Awards

2005

Wine of the Year at Ontario Wine Awards

2002 Vidal Icewine steals the show.

Three Gold’s presented at Ontario Wine Awards

2007

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

2007

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

2007

Wine Sensory Garden opens to Mark Milestone Anniversaries

Celebration of 25 years of winemaking and 30 years of grape growing.

2008

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

2008

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

2008

Grand Opening of New Wine Boutique

A new home for visitors with chic Sensory Wine Bar.

Legislative Assembly of Ontario Red of the Year

2008

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

2009

Klaus receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The Ontario Wine Society recognizes Klaus' contributions to our industry.

Old World Stone Fountain installed

2013

Old World Stone Fountain installed

Custom Stone Wine Barrel built by Master Artisan Stone Masons.

Klaus receives Established Enterprise Award

2014

Klaus receives Established Enterprise Award

Klasu is recognized at the Niagara Entrepreneaur Awards Ceremony.

Gold at International Wine Challenge

2014

Gold at International Wine Challenge

2012 Vidal Icewine upholds a tradition of awards of excellence.

Gold at International Wine and Spirits Challenge

2014

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

2015

Vineyards planted in Niagara Falls for future winery location

A new parternship is forged with the Carmelites.

River Road Collection is launched

2016

River Road Collection is launched

New wine collection celebrates the bounty of our regional appellation.

Outdoor Kitchen opens in Sensory Garden

2016

Outdoor Kitchen opens in Sensory Garden

Visitors are invited to spend a bit more time enjoying food and wine.

2016

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

2017

Monastery Cellars Opens

New Winery location will be the first of its kind only steps away from majestic Niagara Falls.

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