Our Team From Grape to Glass!
John & Colleen Fournier Owners/Founders
After working desk jobs and managing a bustling family hobby farm for nearly 20 years, John and Colleen decided they wanted to get back to their roots and focus on their passion for agriculture and business. Over the past 6 years, John and Colleen have worked hard at learning the ins and outs of viticulture and winemaking along with their three very reluctant and tired children. In 2021, John completed the Foundations in Winemaking Program at Brock Universities Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute and is now the head winemaker at River House. These two are excited to introduce River House to the public and explore their future endeavours on the land!
Andrew, son of John and Colleen Fournier, has been a key part of the vineyard process from day one. From picking rocks to picking grapes, Andrew has worked hard at every possible job that River House has thrown his way - which has been a lot. He hopes to further his knowledge in the viticultural side of the business in years to come.
Kevin has been River House's right hand man since the very beginning. Kevin's wide range of skills and knowledge has played an important role in helping us get to where we are today. He has also completed the Foundations in Winemaking Program at Brock Universities Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute and assists in the wine making process.
Nick Valliquette has been working in kitchens for 15 years, starting as a dishwasher and working his way up. He graduated from the Culinary Management program at Algonquin in 2012 and found his footing as a chef cooking in kitchens in Ottawa, Kingston and his hometown Perth. In 2017 he competed and won the title of Chopped Canada Champion.
During the pandemic Nick decided it was time for a break from kitchens and was offered an opportunity to join the River House team building the vineyard and winery from the ground up. Over the last couple years working closely with the grapes, he has developed a deeper connection and appreciation of farming and local food. Freshly inspired and motivated by local ingredients and artisans he is ready to share his fresh take on winery food with you!
Martin & Rufino
Martin and Rufino are the newest members of our team, having joined us just last year all the way from Mexico. Their late arrival doesn’t show though, as they have been a welcome and hardworking addition to the vineyard team. Martin and Rufino focus their strengths on vineyard maintenance and plant care.
Martin y Rufino son los miembros más nuevos de nuestro equipo, ya que se unieron a nosotros el año pasado. Sin embargo, su llegada tardía no se nota, ya que han sido una adición bienvenida y trabajadora al equipo de la viña. Martin y Rufino centran sus puntos fuertes en el mantenimiento de viñedos y el cuidado de las plantas.
Steven Trussler has been part of the wine making process at River House for 3 years now. Steve started out as an instructor for John and Kevin in a wine making course they took at Brock University. He has spent 7 years as a commercial winemaker and has continued his passion for wine and cider through his consulting work and instructional endeavours. Steven specializes in wine and cider education, creating and delivering both professional and continuing education wine and cider production programs, sensory evaluation, and lab analysis. Additionally, Steve is currently working on a PhD in Education at the University and Toronto.