Stonechurch Vineyards is proud to announce Canadian born Thomas Laszlo as the winery's new Head Winemaker. Laszlo brings dedication and several years of extensive cool climate experience to the small team who are thrilled to have him on board.
Laszlo was born, raised, and educated in Guelph, Ontario. Upon completion of his Diploma in Farm Management from the University of Guelph in 1993 Thomas accepted a position at Henry of Pelham Estate Winery as Assistant Winemaker.
After three vintages on the “Bench” Laszlo took his Canadian gained skills and went abroad. From 1997 through to the end of the 2001 vintage Thomas held the position of Technical Director of Chateaux Pajzos and Megyer, two of the top producers of Hungary’s famous Tokaji Aszú. Laszlo’s Pajzos Esszencia achieved the rare honour of being rated 99 points by Wine Spectator and 99+ points by Robert Parker whom described the wine as “virtually perfect”.
Upon his departure from Hungary Laszlo spent a brief time consulting in Ontario, long enough to have his daughter be born a Canadian citizen. By the 2002 vintage once again he found himself abroad this time as Head Winemaker at Heron Hill Winery located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. During his eight years there he focused on cool climate varieties with a special emphasis on producing several styles of outstanding Riesling that garnered praise and attention by the world´s top wine critics.
After thirteen years abroad the Laszlo family came back home to Niagara in 2010. Having considerable experience working with cool climate viticulture and winemaking he put to good use his talents by consulting for two top Ontario wineries for the 2010 and 2011 vintage. As luck would have it, Thomas was hired on at Stonechurch vineyards in June, 2012 in the position of Head Winemaker.
Owner Hank Hunse shares an almost identical philosophy with Laszlo on how to bring out the best of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s vineyards and grape varieties. Thomas plans on putting down some serious long term tracks at Stonechurch planning to work with winery’s top notch vineyards and enthusiastic winery team to propel Stonechurch to forefront of the Niagara Industry.
Situated on a quiet country road surrounded by vineyards, Stonechurch is a pastoral and tranquil spot to sit, relax and enjoy. The Hunse family has taken the farm through multiple phases since 1955, establishing it as a small winery in 1989 with its current 76 acres of grapes.