Sue-Ann Staff Awarded the Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence - Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
March 26, 2018

Sue-Ann Staff Awarded the Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence

A Fancy Farm Girl Wins at Annual Cuvée Gala


The most prestigious “Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence” bestowed on Niagara’s Sue-Ann Staff

JORDAN, ON. — A unwavering passion for grapes and wine that has already spanned a 31-year commitment has taken Sue-Ann Staff around the globe several times.  Through all her travels and experience crafting award-winning wines, one truth remains evident to her.  She loves the farm.

The sights, the smells, the sounds and, perhaps most importantly, the lifestyle is the attraction. As a seventh-generation farmer (fifth generation grape grower) in the heart of Ontario’s Niagara wine country, Sue-Ann was awarded one of the Ontario Wine Industry’s most prestigious awards – the Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence at the 30th Annual Cuvée Wine Gala.

The province’s swankiest wine soiree, the 30th Annual Cuvée Gala, was held in Niagara Falls on March 23, 2018 celebrating excellence in Ontario winemaking with over 800 attendees.  The evening highlights a few high-level awards with Sue-Ann bringing home the prestigious “Tony Aspler Award of Excellence”.

Taking little time to enjoy the success of the award, Sue-Ann declared in her impromptu speech that “While we celebrate all of our accomplishments tonight, and were physically doing what makes us great simply a few hours ago, we are right back to work tomorrow to continue whatever it is that makes us so notable.  Regardless if it is in the vineyards pruning, completing a final filtration in the cellar, getting a wine’s sell sheet done in marketing or pushing our research forward, everyone is contributing equally”.

The Tony Aspler Award of Excellence is given annually to a person or institution that has worked to further the Ontario Wine Industry.  Former recipients over the 18 years of the award’s inception have included many great contributors including notables as John Ralston Saul (2002), the late Karl Kaiser (2003) and Ian D’Agata (2017).


Tony Aspler, Member of the Order of Canada (CM), has been writing about wine for thirty years and today he is the most widely respected wine writer in Canada. He was the wine columnist for the Toronto Star for twenty-one years and has authored eleven books on wine and food, including The Wine Lover’s Companion, The Wine Lover Cooks, Travels with My Corkscrew and Vintage Canada. He writes for several international wine magazines, including Harper’s, Tidings, and Fine Wine & Liquor.  He contributes every weekend to wine reviews on 680NEWS. In 2012 Tony was the first Canadian to be inducted into the New York Media Wine Writers Hall of Fame and awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal.

Prior Winners of the Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence

2000 Peter Gamble
2001 Donald Triggs
2002 John Ralston Saul
2003 Karl Kaiser
2004 Paul Bosc Sr.
2005 Carlo Negri
2006 William (Bill) Lenko
2007 Jim Warren
2008 Lanny Huff
2009 Darryl Brooker
2010 Jon O'Gryzlo
2011 Bill Redelmeier
2012 Ron Giesbrecht
2013 Terrance Van Rooyen
2014 Moray Tawse
2015 Laurie Macdonald
2016 Lloyd Schmidt
2017 Ian D'Agata
2018 Sue-Ann Staff



Congratulations Sue-Ann for this well-deserved recognition!

Check out this report on the event (Sue-Ann appears at the 5 minute mark):

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