My family has been involved with agriculture in the Niagara Peninsula for over 100 years. I am a fourth generation grower. My great grandfather came from Scotland in 1913, along with my grandfather, James Mowat, who was 13 years old at the time. They settled initially in Grimsby, working for a local farmer and then eventually purchased two peach farms on Lincoln Avenue in Beamsville. That is where my father, William Mowat, grew up. He purchased a 17 acre peach farm on Mountainview Road in Beamsville in 1952. I attended the University of Guelph and graduated in 1980 with a B.Sc. in agriculture specializing in horticulture. At that point in life I had married Darlene and our first child Ken had arrived. We purchased our current 38 acre property in partnership with my parents, who had sold their farm, and we farmed peaches together for 20 years.
In 1997 we planted our first Merlot grapes near the back of the property. In 1999, my parents retired, and we decided to plant the whole property out in grapes. We pulled out 30 acres of peaches and planted it out to Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Our first vintage of wine was in 1999.
The Mowat Family
100 Years of Agriculture
Fraser and Darlene along with their children Ken, Cassie and Angela all have a hand in the day to day running of Harbour Estates. While Fraser and Darlene oversee the day to day operations, their children all do their part. Ken joined the winery in 2000 as the marketing manager, but his keen interest in wine production led him to become our winemaker in 2002. He gained his winemaking knowledge from Niagara College. His first wine released, a Riesling, won double gold in the USA. Ken has gone on to win countless national and international awards for his wines. Cassie joined the winery, followed not long after by our other daughter, Angela. Cassie manages the vineyards and the cellar for Ken. Angela is the store manager and bookkeeper.