Interview with Leonard Pennachetti

Leonard Pennachetti was born in St. Catharines, ON on July 15, 1954. His grandfather, Giuseppe Pennachetti, was born in Fermo, Marche, Italy on August 19, 1891 and was interned at Camp Petawawa during World War II. Giuseppe came to Canada in 1914, returned to Italy in 1922, married, and then came back to Canada that same year. Giuseppe started a concrete block business in his backyard (1 West Street in Thorold) where he made concrete blocks by hand. He was arrested after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) found dynamite in his barn. Giuseppe used the dynamite for clearing farmers' land (one of his other occupations) but the RCMP saw him as a threat. Giuseppe was held at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds in Toronto before being taken to Petawawa. He was interned for about a year. His wife, Maria, kept the business going with the help of her sons during Giuseppe’s internment. After Giuseppe’s release, sons, Primo and John, served in the Canadian Forces. Once they returned they convinced their father to buy machinery to take their business to the next level. The business became very successful. The family bought land in Beamsville, thinking that the government was going to expand the canal in Thorold and they would have to move the concrete business. The canal was not expanded onto their land and they decided to turn the purchased land into a vineyard. Leonard helped his grandfather in the vineyard and ended up going into the winery business, eventually opening Cave Springs Cellars.