Kinburn’s van Barrs sell KIN Vineyard

CARP – Kinburn’s Chris van Barr has sold Carp-based winery KIN Vineyards.

Van Barr sold the popular and growing business to Ottawa’s Lorraine Mastersmith and Shaun McEwan. Mastersmith is a well-known lawyer and McEwan is a long-serving corporate chief financial officer at Quarterhill.

The new owners announced the sale last week. The two purchased a majority stake in the vineyard and van Barr will remain as a minority owner with a roughly 10 per cent stake in the business. No other details of the sale were released.

KIN Vineyard opened roughly five years ago and has steadily grown ever since. The van Barrs grow grapes at their Kinburn vineyard as well at the Carp location. Just over a year ago, van Barr opened a tasting room at the Carp site and hosts many public events, from cycling and dog events to theatre and live music at the Carp location throughout the year.

“He’s built it up from nothing, and it’s quite a successful business,” Mastersmith said in a recent interview.

The winery is on pace to sell about 24,000 bottles this year. 

Van Barr is also an intellectual property litigator and partner at Gowlings, and has worked with Mastersmith for years. During a business trip in May, he mentioned to his longtime colleague that he was thinking about divesting most of his ties to the winery. Mastersmith, a loyal KIN customer, was instantly intrigued.

One of a small but growing number of wineries in Eastern Ontario, KIN sells about a dozen vintages. Located on 47 acres of land across from the Diefenbunker, KIN currently has five acres of Pinot Noir and five acres of Chardonnay in production. The rest of its offerings – which include a Marechal Foch and Vidal Blanc – are sourced from vineyards in other parts of the province.

The winery has three full-time employees and also hires up to 30 part-timers at various times of the year.