Hamilton man charged in death of Niagara winemaker in Haldimand County

A 31-year-old Hamilton man is facing a second-degree murder charge in connection with a “suspicious death” of a noted Niagara winemaker.

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say the incident happened at a home on Smelsers Cove Lane in Selkirk, Ont.

“A male, now identified as Paul Pender, age 54 of Grimsby, was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Const. Mary Gagliardi said in a release.

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Tawse Estate Winery acknowledged Pender’s death on its website, saying he passed “unexpectedly under tragic circumstances.”

The Vineland, Ont. operation said Pender was the head winemaker and joined their team in 2005.

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“We will all miss him more than words can express,” Tawse said in a statement released Friday.

The winemaker’s website says Pender was a former carpenter and graduate of Niagara College’s winery and viticulture program.

He leaves behind wife Allison Findlay and three children.

Retail stores and the restaurant at Tawse have closed until Wednesday.

An investigation continues and OPP asks anyone who may have witnessed the incident to reach out.

The accused is in custody and will appear in Cayuga Court at a later date.


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