Special Communique from Donald Ziraldo

Nov 03, 2006, 00:00 ET from Inniskillin Wines

    NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ - I am not certain where
 to begin after 32 years of focus, commitment and challenges with
     Officially, as of today, I am resigning as President of Inniskillin
 Wines, the same position I have held since Karl and I founded Inniskillin
 in 1974.
     Karl's recent retirement and the many changes that have occurred over
 the past years, prompted me to review my career and my life.
     The other major change, and the most significant, is my recent marriage
 to my life partner, Anna Netter-Ziraldo on July 22, 2006 in the Black
 Forest in Germany.
     Before I continue, I want to thank the talented, committed and
 dedicated staff who I consider as family at Inniskillin, and I include both
 those currently working for the winery and those who have been part of our
 Inniskillin family in the past. I want to thank all of you for the many
 years of service and commitment. The global recognition of Inniskillin is
 proof of your efforts and dedication, and for that, I thank you!
     Although this is a difficult decision to make, for me it is time to
 "pass the torch" and I am leaving Inniskillin in the very capable hands of
 the Inniskillin staff, Vincor Canada and internationally with
 Constellation. This gives me added comfort in my decision. I am also
 excited to learn that a Canadian Winemaker of distinction has been
 appointed to lead Inniskillin into this next phase, and details on that
 appointment will come forward on Monday, November 6.
     Being a part of the evolution of Inniskillin, as an entrepreneur, I
 thought it timely to refocus my career. I have always been committed to new
 ideas, from my roots in the nursery business, focussing on Vitis vinifera
 grape vines, obtaining with Karl, the first winery licence in Ontario since
 prohibition in 1975, establishing the VQA, assisting in creating and
 building CCOVI and the Niagara Hospitality Centre and my involvement with
 the Greenbelt.
     I therefore decided to refocus my career while continuing to maintain
 my commitment to the wine industry.
     The industry is at yet another crossroad and the need for a
 co-ordinated effort in research and innovation at both the national and
 provincial levels is fundamental.
     Over the years, we built infrastructure, such as the Cool Climate and
 Oenology Centre (CCOVI) at Brock University, and the Niagara Culinary
 Institute at Niagara College, and now the Vineland Research Station is
 poised to enjoy a renaissance celebrating its 100th anniversary this year,
 and the University of Guelph, my alma mater, McMaster University, the
 University of British Columbia and the Summerland Research Station are
 converging to create dynamic centres of excellence to drive the grape and
 wine industry into the 21st century.
     If we are to continue our quest to be a globally recognized wine
 growing region, we shall require both research and innovation. It needs to
 be leading edge and beyond the traditional. It will also require a
 collection of scientists and young, open minds to build our infrastructure
 both provincially and nationally.
     My resignation from Inniskillin will create the opportunity to focus my
 efforts on co-ordinating the various activities in the grape and wine
 sector across the country with those from around the world.
     "There is no question that, the challenges organizations face these days
     are becoming more complex and therefore more difficult to solve. For many
     years we've seen increased speed with technology, increased expectation
     and decreased resources. Take these, add constant change and the result
     is the rise of complex challenges."
                                                         . . . Donald Ziraldo
     From a speech delivered at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta on
     March 8, 2006

SOURCE Inniskillin Wines