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Hernder winemaker: ‘We appreciate all the heartfelt words from everyone’

As fire officials continue to investigate the cause of a devastating fire to the historic barn at Hernder Estate Winery, winemaker Angela Kasimos can’t help but look back at the memories of a magical place to work.

We reached out to Kasimos to ask her to share her thoughts and some of her favourite photos on the landmark barn that housed the retail, tasting and events space at the winery. Here is what she had to say, in her own words.

Note: We are thinking of the 34 Mom Market Collective vendors who lost much of their products due to the fire and have provided a link to a GoFundMe page set up to help recover some of the losses. It’s posted below Kasimos’ words below.

By Angela Kasimos

Niagara wine

I was preparing for an interview a while back and asked Fred (Hernder) for a little history on the property. We were standing in the upstairs hall, and he simply said: ‘You know, when I saw this barn I had a vision, I wanted to build the best wedding space.’ People tried to talk him out of it, but Fred pushed on, and with the help of his hard-working loyal employees, transformed the old Victorian barn into a showcase banquet hall.

Over the years, Fred continued to enhance its beauty with rustic stained glass, grand foyer doors, adding a second hall surrounding patios. During my time at Hernder, I watched people flock to weddings, charity events, grape and wine festivals, and the famous craft shows.

The space that was lost on Saturday was all that stood at Hernder Estates during their first vintage. Over time this mini winery became offices, and the large innovative winery was built. Thanks to the St. Catharines fire crew, this production and warehouse area are still standing.

Assessing the potential damage in the winery is going to be difficult and heartbreaking task. We appreciate all the heartfelt words from everyone. For those who have been asking how to support us, we are still selling our wines at Hernder on 4th in Harvest Barn. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and please continue to respect the family’s privacy.

How you can help vendors
impacted by the fire

In response to the vendors’ losses, the Mom Market Collective, which hosted the market, have set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $50,000 to reimburse some of the crafters. Here is their note for the fund with the link to the GoFundMe page below the vendor list.

“The Mom Market Collective is devastated by the Hernder Estate Winery fire on March 26, and are at a loss for words. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved and affected. We understand this is a difficult time and are diligently working on coming to a resolution for everyone who suffered a loss due to this devastating occurrence.

“We ask that if you would like to contribute to the aid of the incredible 34 vendors involved, you can do so here as these amazing businesses have lost so much and their livelihood. We would love to be able to give these vendors some relief for all that was lost in the fire.

Cool Mom Studio
Soft & Still Co.
Bella Buddha Beads
Two Dapper Pupz
Mellona Honey Poducts
Color Street
Keep Me Wild
MILU Studios
H and H Baby Chews
Dirty Leather
Gray home & Co.
Taurus Terrazzo
Windwick Farm Freeze Dried Experience
Discovery Toys
Scheer Luck Yoga
Kitchen Cat Textiles
Lip Service Beauty
Little Peanut Boutique
Origami Owl/Think Goodness
Special-Tea Cards
Aleksandra Jewellery
Sweet Seamz
The Infinity Woodbox
Paz Bakery
Norwex Independent Consultant
Creative Inspirations 7
Denver’s lab
Memory Lane Crafts
George’s wood works
Brown Sugar Decors
Captured By KlassenLincoln Humane Society Table

Go here for the GoFundMe page to donate.