Joseph's Life


October 1, 1981

Joseph is born at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital to Gabe and Rossana Magnotta, a ray of sunshine who arrives on a cool and overcast day. A middle child, he becomes a brother to Tommaso and later a brother to Alessia. Beloved grandson of Tommaso and Maria Di Zio and Giuseppina Magnotta, his namesake.

September 1984

At three years old, Joseph enters the Toronto Montessori School and attends up to Grade 6.


December 24, 1991

A 10-year-old Joseph spends a magical Christmas Eve in the family's vineyards, picking grapes in the middle of the night for the winery’s first Icewine harvest, dubbed "St Nick's".

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September 1993

Enters Upper Canada College (UCC) for grades 7 to 13 where friends say he embodied an easy self-assurance and sailed through with his hallmark bring-it-on attitude. 


July 1996

Joseph begins to learn the ropes of the family winery doing odd jobs on the weekends.


June 2000

Graduates from UCC with an International Baccalaureate certificate, globally recognized as the gold standard for university preparatory programs. Remembered as a charming showman with a comic touch and especially for quoting Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell: "I love school but class gets in the way."

September 2000

Enters the University of Western Ontario. By the end of first year, Joseph wins the dorm floor award for "Most Wanted Roommate". Begins working part-time at Magnotta Winery as a General Helper.


May 2005

Partners with university pal Adam Watson to launch Statements Media. The company provides printed ads on dry cleaning garment bags, the first of its kind in Canada, and distributes over 125,000 dry cleaning bags in its first month of operation. Continues part-time at Magnotta Winery as a Project Manager.


October 2005

Graduates from Western with a B.A. in Social Science, majoring in Political Science. School mates will miss the sheer force of Joseph's debating skills and his entertaining, mock sparring scenarios to test his ideas and arguments with his friends.


November 2008

Joins Magnotta Winery full-time as Senior Sales Manager. A born salesman, he advances to Director of Sales by 2010.

January 2009

Becomes an uncle and a godfather for the first time with the birth of Gabriella, Tommaso and Sarah's first child, followed by Valentina (2011) and Matteo (2013). An uncle once again when Alessia and Marco's children arrive, Alessandro (2013) and Mila (2016).


June 2011

Introduces a new wine brand called G. Marquis to honour his late father featuring an illustration on the label that lovingly celebrates Gabe’s life story and larger than life, authentic personality. The wines are launched at the LCBO and duty free stores and go on to win numerous wine competition awards.


August 2012

Becomes Vice President of Sales and directs the expansion of Magnotta products into the LCBO, other liquor boards, duty free shops and export markets and further delves into his love for developing new products.


September 8, 2012

Marries Melissa Galati. Throughout their six-year marriage, they travel extensively, especially indulging in excursions throughout Italy and France, enjoying great food and wine and embracing “dolce far niente”, the sweetness of doing nothing and just appreciating beautiful surroundings which made for the very best kind of holiday. As a 16-year-old, Joseph experienced an unforgettable, month-long summer trip to the south of France with school friends that would make an impact on his later life. 


June 2016

Joseph begins to envision a new generation of contemporary Magnotta wines for the LCBO and other Canadian markets that represent the next chapter for the winery. He pours his heart and soul into this project and, after almost two years of diligent work, completes Venture Series. Joseph insists that all Venture wines support Lyme Disease research in Canada, the disease that took his father. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle will go to the G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector-Borne Diseases in support of the new Lyme Disease Research Lab at the University of Guelph to improve testing and treatment for all Canadians.

May 25, 2018

Joseph passes away suddenly, just days before his new Venture Series wines are announced to the public. In memory of Joseph, donations pour into the G. Magnotta Foundation that was so dear to his heart. 


July 2018

The Venture collection takes off at the LCBO and Magnotta stores.

September 2018

Joseph's Venture initiative becomes the foundation for Magnotta's new TV commercial which celebrates the ready-for-anything, adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit behind Venture wines. 


October 2018

Venture wines receive an enthusiastic welcome from wine writers, bloggers and chefs at a VIP tasting event held at Woods Restaurant. The collection now includes 7 different wines with more to follow in the coming months. Awareness of the wines' charitable component grows including in the media. New Venture wines are accepted by the LCBO for 2019 and over 300 LCBO stores now carry the collection. A fitting tribute to Joseph's passionate new vision for the winery.