Roman Prydatkewycz

The Obstinate

Across the table, Roman Prydatkewycz, Vineland Estates Winery’s renowned vineyard manager, levels his view over his steaming cup of coffee and says very quietly, “so what do you want to know?” This no-nonsense, straight-to the-point approach is Roman through and through. Behind the confident and steady stare sits a man of infinite complexity, resolve, tenacity and wisdom. His life story reads like a novel by Tolstoy and begins in war ravaged Ukraine, falls into occupied Germany, springs to Brazil, Montreal, Hamilton and finally to Niagara where he continues today. At every step of his life, Roman needed to be resilient, adaptive, steadfast and open. To many this may seem to be a list of contradictions but it truly fits Roman and his variegated approach to life. Roman’s talents for organization, leadership and solid results were recognized very early when he worked at Essex Packers in Hamilton during term breaks from McMaster University. As such, he was snapped up immediately after graduation and he began his quick climb to the top management positions of that facility. Roman learned very early from his father that one should never leave for tomorrow what can be done today. This was the key work ethic that took root in Roman and it has continually served him well. An understanding of absolute resolve is also needed to view Roman in the correct light. His own brand of obstinance is anchored by his stalwart character, courage and defiance of wrong-headed authority. Holding to his beliefs never came without a cost, but Roman always knew that we are gifted one set of golden principles and they are infinitely perishable if we choose to ignore them. His mother and father lived and modeled that principled life and as it turns out, it was their greatest gift to their son. Roman came to viticulture later in his career and in many ways by accident. He was following a close friend’s lead and started looking at general farms in Niagara because as Roman likes to say, “I sometimes like to do odd things. Why?” A broad, warm smile comes over his face. “Heh, the ideas catch my interest even though I know very little about the topic.” Much to his lovely wife Sophie’s dismay Roman chose a superb “vineyard site” farm (mostly tree fruit at the time) but with a, shall we say, less than adequate house. Over time and with tons of energy, and some invaluable advice, Roman turned the farm into one of the finest vinifera vineyards in Niagara and the house into something that Sophie loved. To honour his two “amazing girls” he named the new vineyard “Rosomel” which is the blending of the names, Roman, Sophie and Melanie (their beautiful daughter). Roman is, and continues to be a Game Changer in the most obstinate way. One could view this description as negative but nothing could be further from the truth. Roman is an explorer, adaptive and open to new ideas, but he has his core values and beliefs and on those points you will never shake him. Roman passionately embraces the future but he receives it all on the solid foundation of his truth. “I love tomorrow, but we’ll deal directly with today based on our important past.” On that note he is gone to take care of today, what will not be put off to tomorrow.