Ontario Team – Andrew Rastapkevicius

Andrew Rastapkevicius
Territory Manager
Eastern Ontario (Ottawa/Kingston)

AndrewR@lifford.com

Favourite Wine Memory
My fondest wine memory would have to be co-hosting an Il Borro and Castiglion Del Bosco wine dinner with Salvatore Ferragamo for 350 people aboard the Globe & Mail Mediterranean Odyssey Cruise ship while moored off the coast of Tuscany in Livorno. Before the dinner we sat on the ship’s rooftop patio and crushed a few Heinekens while chatting about shoes and wine. How cool is that? Salvatore Ferragamo also gets primed for wine dinners with a few beers! His Il Borro IGT Toscana was among the first wines to enchant me into this business, and it was a complete pleasure to spend an evening with the man behind the wine.

Favourite Grape
In the past I’ve been lambasted for saying Pinot Blanc, but I was validated earlier this year when I hosted Mark Vlossak, President/Winemaker of St. Innocent Winery for an Oregon seminar here in Ottawa. During the white flight Mark raised a few eyebrows by saying that Pinot Blanc is one of the most underrated grapes and when it is done well there are very few wines that can compare. I agree, thus St. Innocent Pinot Blanc, along with Domaine Weinbach Reserve Pinot Blanc are some of my favourite wines in our portfolio.

Previous Life
Canadian National Team Rower. Funded by the province and Sport Canada, I rowed varsity at Queen’s University for 6 years and with Team Canada for 2 years.

First Job
Probably scampering behind the tractor at 6 or 7 years old, transplanting little tobacco plants in the spots where the planter had missed. Growing up on a tobacco and vegetable farm, I didn’t really have a “first job” per se; there was always work to be done from the beginning.

Your Indulgence
Almost as much as I love wine, I love really good coffee. Pizza and oysters are up there as well.

Your Retreat
The golf course or my kitchen. I love to cook at home. So spending an evening with friends, preparing a hearty meal while slowly sipping some delicious wine and listening to great music is my picture of relaxation.

Your Playlist
A pretty eclectic mix: The National, Jay-Z, Kanye West, George Strait, Corb Lund Band, The Avett Brothers, The Black Keys, Ratatat, Sam Cooke.

Actor Who Would Play You in the Film of Your Life
This is a tough one. A young Jimmy Stewart would probably be ideal. But my character would have the style of Don Draper and the soul of Jerry Maguire.