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May 1, 2013 | 3:10 PM

 Pillitteri Estates Winery CEO Charlie Pillitteri shakes hands with the Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne.

This just in from Pillitteri Estates Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario:

Pillitteri Estates Winery has won the Ontario Food Exporter Award to recognize the winery's role in Ontario's agri-food industry and economy. This is the second year the winery has been nominated and the first time winning, placing in the top three last year.

Exporting is a key contributor to Ontario's economy. It requires successfully expanding into new export markets and creatively working with international markets. It could even provide your next job.

"Since starting our business in 1993, we have grown to become one of the best known international ice wine brands, now available around the globe. It is an honor to be recognized with the Ontario Food Exporter Award, and I want to thank the Ontario government for its support of the province's agri-food industry," Charlie Pillitteri, CEO, said.

Since the winery's inception in 1993, Pillitteri has grown to be the world's largest estate producer of Icewine, exporting to 32 countries to date. Pillitteri Estates produces 45 000 cases of Icewine each year, making up 45 percent of the winery's production and 80 percent of its exports. That's a lot of frozen grapes!

"In order to support our exporting sales, we have focused specific departments to deal with different markets. From developing a new brand for a customer, to sending a Pillitteri team member to a trade show in another country... there's always something exciting going on at the winery," says Lucy Pillitteri-Friesen, CMO.

Pillitteri Estates Winery is a family owned and operated business founded in 1993. It is situated on 130 acres of vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It currently exports to 32 countries and is the largest estate producer of Icewine in the world. Pillitteri has won more than 600 international and domestic awards, reflecting the winery's commitment to produce premium VQA wines. 


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