2 minute read

Love of A Labour

By Martine Mackenzie with Magnotta Winery

Rossana Di Zio Magnotta is the CEO of Magnotta Winery, the company she cofounded with her late husband, Gabe Magnotta. For 30 years, she has been an innovator of over 180 world-class Magnotta wines. She also launched G Marquis, a collection of premium wines available at the LCBO. Under Rossana’s leadership, Magnotta products have also expanded into global markets including the United States and Asia.

Rossana was drawn into winemaking from an early age while helping her father make his annual wine. Later, as a young wife and mother with a curious spirit, she became more fascinated with wine-making which went hand in hand with her fondness for cooking. She experimented with everything imaginable including assorted fruits, herbs and greens – even dandelions – to make different types of wine. When she began the winery with her husband, she had to earn the respect of Italian, Portuguese and Greek men, as the wine industry was very male dominated at the time. But she did! Rossana wrote a wine-making instructional book in different languages and gave it away for free. Once the book took off, the men came around asking to speak to her about their homemade wines.

Rossana always strives to create interesting wines for wine lovers and to exceed their expectations. Most of all, she identified long ago the need to demystify wine by empowering consumers with product knowledge. Magnotta Wines has a loyal and enthusiastic following making its 30-year presence in the marketplace truly unique.

Magnotta’s grapes are grown from their 180-acre familyowned and operated vineyards in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula. The entire winemaking process – harvesting, crushing, fermentation, vinification, and bottling – is managed exclusively by their winemakers and production team at their facilities in Beamsville and Vaughan. With over 180 wines at all price points, it’s easy to see why Magnotta is the third largest winery in Ontario, is one of Canada’s 50

Best Managed Companies for over 10 consecutive years, and why Magnotta has earned more than 4500 awards for product excellence.

Wine isn’t Rossana’s only passion.

For more than two decades, she has also been passionate about healthcare. A long-time supporter of Toronto hospitals, foundations, and charitable organizations, she has launched the G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne diseases to help establish Canada’s first research facility to study Lyme Disease which took the life of her beloved husband Gabe. The research will lead to better testing and treatment for Lyme Disease patients in Canada. Rossana’s mantra is simple -- “I like to think I lead by example. I deal with a lot of different people every day –customers, employees, politicians, bureaucrats, competitors, Lyme Disease patients and their families – about different topics, issues, and problems that I want to solve. I’m passionate about all of them. My best piece of advice – don’t lose your human touch. You will be surprised how much that will keep you grounded, well-balanced, and connected to people every day.” magnotta.com