In 1979, Salvatore D’Angelo began his search for the land on which to plant his vineyard. As an accomplished amateur winemaker, his ambition was to start his own winery within the heart of Essex County, in Southern Ontario. In 1983 he bought fifty acres in Amherstburg, just south of Windsor. Then in 1984 Sal planted his first acre of grapes, making his first vintage in 1989. Today, the magnificent vineyard covers forty-two acres of the fifty-acre property.
By this time, Sal had read every book he could get his hands on about wine, thoroughly studying all aspects of growing and making it. He was becoming even more aware of the impressive winemaking history of the beautiful Okanagan Valley. By the early 80′s he had resolved to follow up on his extensive research of the area with a visit. After he was presented with the Grape King Award 1999, the top honour for the year in Ontario for having the finest vineyard, he knew it was time to reach even higher. So, he searched out the best property he could find in the Okanagan Valley and decided on the Naramata Bench on the east shores of Okanagan Lake.
The year 1999 also brought the D’Angelo Estate Winery’s tenth anniversary as a wine producer. Sal has a unique philosophy as a vintner. “Quality is grown” are the words he lives by. Throughout the vineyard, only the finest French viniferas and hybrids are planted. The Ontario wine list consists of Cabernet, Marechal Foch, Vidal,Chardonnay, select late harvest and ice wine.
Today, D’Angelo Vineyards has 8 acre of vines now planted in the Okanagan Valley on the renowned Naramata Bench and more are in the process of being developed. This makes Sal the first individual grower-vitner to produce wines in both Ontario and British Columbia.
D’Angelo Estate Winery produced its first vintage from its BC Winery in 2005.