Grape grower John Fedorkow is the winner of Grape King 2019, an honour that’s bestowed by Grape Growers of Ontario and Farm Credit Canada.
Fedorkow was born and raised on a mixed tender fruit farm in St. David’s, and graduated from the University of Guelph in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He worked as a crop protection sales person for four years, both in Alberta and Ontario, before returning to the area of his childhood.
The farm was planted with Labrusca grapes which were removed and replaced with tender fruit and berries, including strawberries, raspberries, apples, cling peaches, pears and plums. A pick-your-own operation that gave school tours in the fall was developed.
After removing the apples in 1999, Fedorkow began planting wine grapes, and underwent a major expansion into grapes in 2008 after the canning factory closure. He is currently growing 75 acres of vinifera grapes for Peller Estates and Creekside Estate Winery including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Semillon.
A current member of the Grape Growers of Ontario's Growers' Committee and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake's Agricultural Sub Committee, John is also the past president of the Niagara Peninsula Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (NPF&VGA), past Vineland Growers director, and past member of the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Irrigation Committee.
His broad agricultural experience makes him an ideal ambassador for the grape industry for the next year.
Source: Grape Growers of Ontario September 17, 2019 news release