One year later, St. Catharines winery ready to bound back from devastating fire

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Published April 6, 2023 at 10:27 am

Hernder Estates Winery is about to rebuild their barn-banquet hall but in the meantime, they have so many events planned, it could fill anyone's calendar.

While no one from the family-owned Hernder Estate Winery in St. Catharines has forgotten the devastating fire that gutted their banquet hall-barn at the end of March 2022, one year later, they are looking ahead.

In a Facebook post, Angel Hernder Fusarelli spoke on behalf of the family to say the local community’s “encouragement, loyalty and support was a huge driving force for us to lick our wounds and move on.”

At the same time, she did acknowledge that the $7 million blaze “did happen but I still wake up and pray it was just a nightmare and our beautiful barn was still here.”

“The shock is still daily as this was 30 years of our everyday life ripped away in a matter of hours and still without answers.”

Construction to rebuild will begin at the beginning of May as the family is eager to restore the banquet hall that before the fire saw three to four weddings every weekend.

“It was more than a barn, it was a family effort and a place where people came to taste wine, take photos, a location for their wedding, prom, grad, anniversaries, birthdays and even celebrations of life.”

Of course, there is the irony of needing city hall permit to rebuild something that already existed. “We hope to start construction as early as May if all the paperwork is approved – it’s crazy to think we need permission just to put back what we had, we are using the exact same footprint.”

That said, the family is ready to have some fun again. “Moving forward we have a fun packed Spring/Summer/Fall at the winery. Mark your calendars for May 31st which is our first day open as well as our first Farmers Market in the afternoon followed by a Supper Market with vendors and live entertainment from 4:30 to 8pm scheduled every Wednesday till Oct 18.”

“We have three Comedy Nights, an eight-week Music Amongst the Vines in July and August every Friday night, two Craft Shows, Yoga, Speed Dating, Drag Show, Psychic night plus wine flights and patio fun every Friday, Saturday and Sundays.”

Residents can check out their website: www.hernder.com or look for event updates on their Facebook page HERE.

“Our 2023 goal is having fun and welcoming customers to the Estate as we rebuild the future.”

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