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Grown in a single Niagara vineyard and named in honour of an Ontario wine maverick, G. Marquis is the premium portfolio of Magnotta Winery, and The Silver Line represents its ultimate expression. Vintages writer Douglas Webster spoke with Rossana Magnotta, CEO, as she shared the inspiring story of G. Marquis.

What inspired the creation of G. Marquis wines?

G. Marquis is a pseudonym for my late husband, Gabe Magnotta. We met in Canada after each of us came here from Italy. My family took a ship from Italy to Nova Scotia when I was 18 months old and then settled in northern Ontario mining country in a place called Schumacher. Gabe’s family moved to Canada when he was 11. We met in Toronto, where I was going to university at the Institute of Medical Technology. We fell in love and were married for 40 years.

We had a dream of building a family business we could pass to our children. I left my job at the hospital and we leveraged our home and everything we had to start Magnotta Winery in December of 1990. We live in a world where people often do things because of expectations. At every turn, Gabe was ridiculed and told that his winery would never be a success. Nevertheless, he forged his own path. He was a dreamer, a maverick and a gentleman.

Gabe was diagnosed with Lyme disease and died from complications in December of 2009. The creation of G. Marquis was the initiative of our son Joseph as a way to honour his father.

Is that why Joseph envisioned G. Marquis as the most special wines in the Magnotta portfolio?

Absolutely! Magnotta was always a labour of love, and G. Marquis represents the ultimate expression of a labour of love. The wines are grown in our family’s vineyard in Niagara-on-the-Lake. They’re handcrafted and treated with love from the vine to the bottle. The Silver Line in particular is about seeing the silver lining amongst the clouds and taking inspiration from something beautiful. Even the G. Marquis wine labels feature five marquises as a tribute to our family of five: Gabe, me and our children (Joseph, Tommaso and Alessia).

Do you feel that the legacy of G. Marquis is a story of inspiration?

Yes, very much so. As you know, my son Joseph passed away earlier this year. Personally, when I think of how he created G. Marquis, I feel extremely proud. Gabe and Joseph are part of everything in my life. I continue to walk the vineyards, as we used to do together. I built a greenhouse at my home because I love growing things. I continue to work with hospitals on Lyme disease research in Gabe’s memory.

G. Marquis is Gabe, but it’s also you and me. It’s anyone who is being suppressed, whether that’s because of their background, their gender or who they are as a person. G. Marquis is about encouraging people to come out of their shell and find their potential.


The Finer Points

G. MARQUIS THE SILVER LINE PINOT NOIR
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
258673 (D) 750 mL Reg. $19.95 NOW $17.95 Save $2.00

Complex notes of red cherry, raspberry, mineral and smoke.

Medium-bodied & Fruity

A Vintages Essential

G. MARQUIS THE SILVER LINE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
645903 (XD) 750 mL $19.95

Big, juicy and fresh. Impressive ripe dark fruit, juicy cassis, herbs and spice.

Full-bodied & Smooth

New at VINTAGES

G. MARQUIS THE SILVER LINE CHARDONNAY
Niagara Stone Road Vineyard, VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
258681 (XD) 750 mL $17.95

A wealth of buttered toast, pineapple, peach and oak spice.

Full-bodied & Rich

A Vintages Essential

G. MARQUIS THE SILVER LINE BLANC DE BLANCS SPARKLING
Icewine dosage, traditional method,
VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake
644617 (M) 750 mL $24.95

Yeast, apple, honey, peach and toast.

Medium-bodied & Flavourful

New at VINTAGES