Canada, Niagara Peninsula Region
Andrzej Lipinski came to Canada in 1989, followed by the rest of his family in 1991. He was a mechanic by trade, and when he arrived he began working on farms, doing whatever he could do. During the harsh winter of 1993/94 there wasn't a lot of construction work so he got a job in the cellar, helping out winemaker Brian Schmidt.
Within two years he'd become assistant winemaker. In 1998 he was allowed to make one wine of his own, and he chose Chardonnay. This is because it is a blank canvas for a winemaker, and he wanted to use oak. The fruit came from Romans Road Vineyard, and Andrzej's meticulous approach resulted in a wine that won a gold medal at Vinitaly.
In 2011 one of the wineries backed out of a Chenin contract at the last minute. So he decided this was the time, bought the grapes, and Big Head began. This was a virtual winery at first: the rules made it difficult to get a license without any owned vines. But they moved to their current location and got a winery licence in 2015.