Canada’s most decorated male Olympian, Andre De Grasse, has teamed up with Pillitteri Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., to launch his signature red wine, bearing the name 19.62–a nod to his gold medal-winning 200m time from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. On Tuesday night, De Grasse hosted an event at Toronto’s iconic Casa Loma celebrating his accomplishments and the new wine.
The wine is a reserve corvina cabernet franc blend from a 2020 vintage. Only 6,000 bottles of the wine have been produced, and it’s available online for $50. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation, which is committed to empowering and inspiring youth through sport and education.
One hundred bottles have been signed by the 200m gold medallist and will be available for purchase at $500, with proceeds going toward the Andre De Grasse Future Champions Scholarship Program.
Pillitteri Estates Winery is a partner of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “After winning gold in Tokyo, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone a little bit and show that I am more than an athlete,” said De Grasse to the media.
The characteristics of the wine were chosen by De Grasse’s biggest supporter– his mom, Beverley. “When Beverley toured Pillitteri Estates last fall with her family and friends, she put together a few tasting samples for her son, who was training in Florida at the time,” says Brian Levine, President of Envision Sports & Entertainment (De Grasse’s agency).
“De Grasse and his mom liked one red in particular, then the next thing you know, we began labelling and planning the launch party to raise money for the Andre De Grasse Foundation,” says Levine.
Canadian Olympic royalty and sports celebrities came out in support, including the other members of the recent 4x100m world championship relay team (Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney); the most decorated female Canadian Olympian, Penny Oleksiak; Canadian decathlete and 2022 world championship silver medallist Pierce LePage and Toronto Raptors forward, OG Anunoby.
“This is a perfect partnership of champions,” says Charlie Pillitteri, Owner of Pillitteri Estates. “Pillitteri Estates Winery has achieved excellence on the world wine stage, winning over 1,000 awards. We are proud to have partnered with De Grasse in producing this signature wine supporting the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation.”