Our Team

John Rufa
~Owner & Vintner~

John has had a life-long dream of opening a Winery and his passion for winemaking, years of experience, and the study of enology eventually culminated in the grand opening of Kawartha Country Wines! In July of 2004, we opened our doors after bottling 500 litres of our original three wines: Apricot, Cherry, and Rhubarb. Since then, there has been no looking back and we now offer one of the largest selections of fruit wines in Ontario. We currently have 45+ fruit wines and ciders on shelves and John continues to release new creations every year. The success of the winery can be attributed not only to his fundamental knowledge of traditional techniques but more importantly his innovative approach to making unique and well loved beverages.

John's philosophy is simple...
"Great wines, for all occasions can be made from Ontario fruit!"
His artistry has already proven this to be the case, however, John continues to elevate Ontario Fruit wines to the next level while maintaining an exceptional taste experience that emphasizes quality, not quantity. He is always experimenting with his process and trying new blends to produce exciting wines that are superbly drinkable and pair magnificently with food and friends.
Favourite Wines: Black Currant Social and Sour Cherry.

Donna
~Marketing~

Hello! My name is Donna and aside from being John's daughter, I'm our online presence. I oversee our social media, advertising, giveaways, donations, deliveries, general inquiries, and created this website. I would like to personally thank everyone who has liked, followed, commented, and/or tagged us on any of our social media. It has been awesome interacting with everyone this past year and your support is greatly appreciated!
Favourite Wines: Fruit Fusion and Mango Peach

Keith
~Production~

Keith is an extremely talented winemaker and brewer who was a huge home brewing enthusiast that "got the job of his dreams" when he began working with John. He has a fun loving nature that is contagious to be around and is always making people laugh with his quick witted sense of humour. Keith is also an avid dog lover who's always happy to make a new four-legged friend. (Yes, we're pet friendly!) 
Favourite Wines: Black Currant Port and Shiro Plum Dry

Daryl
~Manager~

Daryl is our manager and has an extensive background in sales as well as customer service. However, at the winery he is a jack of all trades and has his hand in everything from, production and sales to gardening and woodwork. More recently, he's wearing the hat of driver for our free delivery service, so if you see him driving down the street, give him a wave hello!
Favourite Wines: Elderberry and Blue Plum

Gig
~Operations~

Gig is a big part of the day-to-day operation of our business. On any given day, you might find him: behind the bar, running the cash, preparing delivery orders, or upstairs handling behind-the-scenes clerical work. Additionally, if you have sent or received a gift basket from the winery then it was likely wrapped by Gig! 
Favourite Wines: Elderberry and Rhubarb off dry

Kathy
~Sales~

Kathy is one of our salesclerks and is extremely conscientious with a outstanding work ethic. Her positive attitude, attention to detail, and willingness to go the extra mile, always ensures our customers leave with a smile. She began as extra help on our busy weekends but has quickly become an indispensable member of the Kawartha Country Wines team.
Favourite Wines: Black and Black and Shiro Plum Dry 


Janet
~Gourmet Guru~

Janet has been working at the Winery since the beginning and is the magic behind our preserves, pepper jellies, vinegars, and sauces. She is extremely talented in the kitchen and has a superb understanding of how different ingredients work together to produce undeniably delicious flavours. Although you probably won't see her during your visit to the winery, she is hard at work behind the curtain and an integral part of our journey. Favourite Wines: Rhubarb Social and Sour Cherry

*JANET'S PICTURE COMING SOON*

Giving Back

We are so thankful for the love and support we receive from the community, vacationers, and visitors from surrounding areas. We are always striving to show our gratitude and give back in ways that we hope will aid and uplift people living in the Kawarthas.  We have recently lowered the price of our ciders by $1, offer a free local delivery service, and hosted three online giveaways in June. We truly believe that if we all do a little we can do a lot.