Moray Tawse Proprietor

A financier by trade – he is the vice president and co-founder of First National – as well as a lifelong lover of wine, Moray Tawse could also be called a terroir collector.

After realizing the potential of winemaking in Niagara, Moray purchased his first 6 acres of vineyard in 2000. In 2005 he opened Tawse, the winery that bears his family name. Today, having acquired over 200 acres and being named Canadian Winery of the year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016, Tawse Winery now produces 30,000 cases of wine and has one of the largest portfolios of organic and biodynamic wines in the Niagara region.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Moray also secured vineyards in his beloved Burgundy and founded Marchand-Tawse, his project with acclaimed consulting winemaker Pascal Marchand. Finally, 2015 saw the much anticipated opening of Redstone, the newest addition to his portfolio and his second project on the Niagara Escarpment.

 

Paul Pender Director of Viticulture and Winemaking

Paul Pender joined the Tawse team in 2005 and became head winemaker in 2006. Under his leadership, Tawse achieved Ecocert organic and Demeter biodynamic certification and was named Canadian Winery of the year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016. He earned the title of Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards in 2011.

Former carpenter and graduate of Niagara College’s Winery and Viticulture program, Paul adopts a “non-interventionist as far as possible” philosophy. He is a firm believer that the start of every great wine begins in the vineyard and he is passionate about crafting wines that express a sense of place.

Rene Van Ede Winemaker

Rene grew up in the backyard of the Hunter Valley wine region but working in hospitality in the United Kingdom was where he became captivated by wine. After choosing to make winemaking his profession, he returned to his native Australia to secure his Bachelor of Wine Science from Charles Sturt University. After a few vintages down under, Rene landed in Canada for a vintage at Tawse in 2006. He was back permanently in 2007 and has been an integral part of the Tawse award-winning winemaking team since.

In recent years Rene has led the Winemaking team to become Cidermakers and Distillers, while continuing to maintain an extensive high- quality wine portfolio.

Jessica Otting Assistant Winemaker

Jess has been enthralled by the world of wine since a very young age; at seventeen she completed her first vintage for her high school placement. After graduating from Niagara College’s Winery & VIticulture program in 2011, Jess took her skills abroad where she took part in a harvest in South Australia and in Tasmania the following year, with a Canadian vintage in between for good measure. Her passion for cool climate wines brought her back to Niagara, and it was not long before she joined the Tawse team to perform all of the laboratory analysis required to make delicious Bench wines.

In 2018 Jess earned the Assistant Winemaker role after working closely with the winemakers for over four years, and shortly after became Distiller as part of the team that pioneered the new spirits program at Tawse.

Davin Campbell Assistant Winemaker

Having joined in early 2019, Devin is the newest addition to the Tawse production team. Originally from Manitoulin Island, Devin followed the Niagara Escarpment south to more humid climes and has been making wine on the Bench Lands since 2014. Prior to finding his true calling and completing Niagara College’s Winery and Viticulture program, Devin attained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and an exceedingly relevant Master’s in Biomedical Technology.

Devin believes that anything that can be fermented probably should be and is excited to be helping craft the diverse portfolio of products at Tawse Winery.

Vicki Smyth
Director, On-Site Sales & Hospitality

Growing up in St. Catharines Vicki was captivated by the growth and success of the Niagara Wine Industry. Deciding to pursue her passion – wine, Vicki left the Environmental Management field to take a part time Tasting Bar job. This fueled her desire to learn more about wine and the Niagara Wine industry. She enrolled in many classes to further her wine education and gained valuable experience at some local wineries.

Joining the Tawse team in 2013 she now oversees On-site Sales and Hospitality operations. Vicki is excited about the future and the new possibilities available with the release of the Tawse Spirits while continuing to ensure best in class service that Tawse Winery is known for.

Daniel Lafleur
National Sales Manager

Daniel’s passion for wine evolved from his love of food. An avid cook since childhood, Daniel studied Marketing and Nutrition at Laval University and later became a professional culinary instructor. He then pursued his budding interest in wine to become a certified sommelier and went on to work at the LCBO for 6 years in a variety of positions including Product consultant and a Vintages writer. It is the prospect of a new challenge and the opportunity to work with a leading organic and biodynamic producer that brought Daniel to Tawse in 2008. In his role, he is responsible for driving Licensee, LCBO and Export sales.

Daniel’s keen palate was recognized this year as he was crowned “Grand Award winner” of the 2015 Wine Tasting Challenge!