28 Jun


Posted by Craig


When we opened our doors 20 YEARS ago as Wine Not, we hadn’t thought about two decades from now. It never crossed our minds that we would be celebrating a milestone such as this. Not that we didn’t anticipate success, but we never thought that we would be 1.1 MILLION bottles later, over 2400 winemakers and still growing and going strong.

The love of making better wine coupled with the support of all our winemaking friends has truly made this a reality.

The business began as an idea to offer great winemaking at a reasonable price by my father Grant and blossomed into 39 stores in Ontario and 15 in the USA under the banner of Wine Not. In 2005 Wine Not was purchased by Global Vintners (a division of Peller Wines). We now operate as an independant under the name Winexpert Pickering. I much appreciate my dad for getting me started in the business.

Reaching this momentus occassion of 20 years is definitely humbling. One cannot attain this level of winemaking success without the support and loyalty of great patrons, which I call ‘friends’. You, my friends, have demonstrated the support and loyalty of which any business owner would be envious.

Also please afford me the opportunity to thank my superb staff. Firstly my wife Pirjo. Her support allowed me to get through the perils, trials and tribulations of owning my own business. She also ran the store while I was training, consulting or doing tech support for our other stores. Gord, my Scottish buddy and wine afficienado covered the store for 9 years and actually allowed me to have a life and spend some time with my family. Jack, my son who has diligently helped me run the back cave that we call the ‘fermentation room’ and making sure all procedures are done properly. Gregg (AKA Logan) and Dakota have been an important part of our team and help things run properly and smoothly as well.

All the pieces have come together and 20 years later YOU are the reason the puzzle is complete. Without you we would not be here. For this I will always be grateful.

Cheers to you!

Thank you, your humble winemaker.

Craig Cats



Always a fan of the Oak Barrel

Winexpert Pickering 8

Every barreled wine must be tested for oakiness and quality. What a job!


My wife Pirjo and I in the Finger Lakes wine region. Upstate New York.

Winners of the 1st Annual "Carboy Cup" Gollf Tourny!

Steve & Bruce. Winners of the 1st Annual “Carboy Cup” Golf Tournament. Recognize the carboy in the middle?


Heather & Tony. Winners of the one millionth bottle made!

Gord saying Cheers in Peru!

Gord saying Cheers in Peru!

photo 29

Jack & Kristen with Dad about 20 years ago when we opened the store in Pickering.




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One Comment on “ CHEERS TO 20 YEARS! ”

  1. Debbie and John Matthews June 30, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    It is always a pleasure to come bottle our wine. Great conversation, great music, great customers. We are sure all of your patrons, just like ourselves, feel very much a part of the Winexpert family!
    Cheers to you and yours success!

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