Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits has just announced that it will break ground this year on the Dan Aykroyd Winery, to be located in the Beamsville Bench area of Canada's Niagara Peninsula. The winery will be named after the Canadian entertainer, who has been an avid supporter of his native country's wine industry for years.
"I am very proud to lend my name to this winery. It is a true expression of my passion for the world-class wines of the Niagara region," said Aykroyd in a statement released by Diamond Estates, the Toronto-based agency behind EastDell Estates, Lakeview Cellars, Birchwood Estate and Thomas & Vaughn, as well as the new property. The winery, which is slated for a fall 2008 opening, is being designed to include a hospitality center that will also serve as a showcase for Aykroyd's collection of film and television memorabilia. According to Diamond Estates president and CEO Murray Marshall, the Dan Aykroyd Winery will offer wines made from the company's other vineyards as well as those made from existing plantings on the Aykroyd premises. Diamond Estates owns 192 acres of vineyards in the Niagara region.
Aykroyd has been developing a relationship with Diamond Estates, and the Canadian wine industry in general, over the last several years. In 2005, he invested CAN $1 million in the company (which was formerly known as Niagara Cellars), and in 2006, he unveiled a moderately priced and a premium-priced collection of Canadian wines created and distributed under the auspices of Diamond Estates. The first two offerings of the moderately priced series, a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend, were released in Canada last week, and are slated to arrive in a handful of U.S. markets, including New York, California and Texas, by February 2008. A barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Grigio and a Cabernet Sauvignon will be released in Canada in September 2007.
Of the company's growing alliance with Aykroyd, Murray Marshall said, "Canadian wines traditionally have been seen as new-world wines in a burgeoning wine region, but require, like most wine regions around the world, someone who can [represent] these wines with tremendous passion and integrity."