Owned and operated by John Howard, Megalomaniac began as a retirement project to help raise funds for the Kids’ Health Links Foundation. After the original vintage sold out within 90 days, Howard realized the impact the program might have and the idea of expanding nationally became a strategic opportunity. A second vintage was launched, and since then neither the winery nor the foundation has looked back.
Megalomaniac’s bold branding tactics are at the forefront of the winery’s success. What was originally thought to bring scorn upon the winery has managed to accomplish quite the opposite. The bottles feature a series of faceless executives wearing the iconic bowler hat accompanied by a unique title generally associated with the Megalomaniac brand. The name itself comes from a brief story that can be found on the back of each bottle.
“What’s in the name? I originally wanted to christen these wines in my name, John Howard, …and then my good friends accused me of being yet another “[profanity withheld] megalomaniac”. Regrettably, the name stuck.
As for what’s inside, well the wine speaks for itself.
The winery first opened its cellar doors to the public in 2009. All operations from harvest to administration and even tastings took place in the underground cellar. With source materials from the Niagara Escarpment, cabinetry made exclusively from Canadian wood, and maple trees lining the perimeter, a passion to be a truly Canadian winery can be found here.
Today, guests experience the Megalomaniac portfolio within a newly constructed establishment built above the original cellar. While the cellar and upper balcony remain accessible by tour, the new building, completed in 2014, features a series of glass walls encompassing the tasting bar and retail area. Here, customers can come and enjoy all Megalomaniac has to offer, a truly Canadian, all-encompassing Niagara wine experience.