Pelee Island is nature’s playground, known as a great vacation spot for Canadians, and more and more people are discovering its beauty. We have historical and natural parks, bird sanctuaries, great hiking trails and hunting (the main game is pheasant). As the most southernmost part of Canada, our weather includes warm spells and cold spells—but not too cold, because our region ranks first in Canada for the most “growing-degree” days, making it one of the best places in the country for wineries. Explore Pelee and its local tour guides will show you all the secret, magical spots of the island and give historical accounts of life in Canada’s most southern community. Options include birding, bike and heritage tours for groups and individuals.
Grapevine Tours Windsor Essex Winery and Brew Tours
Allow Grape Vine Tours to escort you to Essex County’s unique wineries, where visitors can sample a diversity of wines, learn about the wine making process, and have time to shop at the winery boutiques while touring our beautiful countryside, towns and city.
Grape Vine Tours offers excursions for groups of 2 to 12. We pick you up at your residence, hotel, B&B or marina, anywhere in Essex County or Windsor. The “North Shore Wine Adventure” includes tours of 4 or more outstanding wineries, sampling each winery’s award winning wines, as well as a culinary array of locally grown foods. This experience usually takes 4 to 5 hours and provides a chance to appreciate the wineries as well as points of interest in Essex County and Windsor.
WindsorEats Wine Trail Rides: Cycling Tours to Essex County Wineries
The Wine Trail Rides, hosted by culinary guide WindsorEats each spring to fall, are a great way to explore Essex County’s wine region. Cycle through our beautiful region and explore the sites, sounds and tastes of Ontario’s other wine route. Each Wine Trail Ride includes tastings, tours, a guide, support vehicle and a meal made with local foods produced in the region. Wine Trail Rides are scheduled from May through October. See for yourself why WindsorEats was named Ontario’s best culinary tourism experience and the Canadian tourism industry’s Innovator of the Year.
Windsor Essex Trolley Tours (WE Trolley)
Windsor Essex Trolley Tours (WE Trolley) are brought to you by SOERC, a not-for-profit organization that passionately promotes the region’s vineyards, venues, agriculture and attractions. Destiny and Desire, our two popular trolley cars, are available for group tours, charter tours and “hop-on” tours for individuals, for a variety of events, including winery tours, festivals and weddings. Enjoy a comfortable ride with air-ride suspension, high windows and air conditioning/heat. And our trolleys are environmentally friendly: they use soy diesel! Come trolley with us to experience the incredible places to see, visit, and experience in Windsor–Essex.
Wineries along the historic County Road 50 (Tourism Essex)
Authentic experiences await you at tasting bars and chef’s tables scattered along Lake Erie’s north shore. This area is positioned on the 42nd parallel, a circle of latitude we share with the famous wine-making regions of northern California and central Italy. It’s no wonder that our wineries grow some of the best grapes in Ontario or that they’re producing some of the very best wines.
Wineries of Pelee & Essex (Tourism Windsor, Essex, Pelee Island)
Exploring EPIC WINE COUNTRY — Red, white or pink, our world-famous winery region will grace your stemware and offer an impressive tipple to the most fickle wine connoisseurs.
Check out our EPIC Wine Route Map to plan your winery adventure.
Canadian Vintners Association
The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) was created in 1975 as the Canadian Wine Institute and renamed in 2000 to better reflect the growth of this dynamic industry. The CVA represents over 90% of all wine produced in Canada including 100% Canadian, Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines and International-Canadian Blended (ICB) wine products. The Canadian wine market remains strong, supported by a continuing growth in consumption as Canadians’ beverage of choice. The sales and marketing efforts of Canadian vintners will continue to drive wine sales through all of our trade channels, including estate wineries, provincial and territorial liquor boards, private retail outlets, licensed establishments, and wine agencies.
VQA Ontario (Vintners Quality Alliance of Ontario)
VQA Ontario is a provincial regulatory authority that administers Ontario’s wine appellation system. Its primary functions are independent wine testing, audits, inspections and compliance. It also acts as a resource for independent information about Ontario’s appellations and wines of origin. VQA Ontario was designated as Ontario’s wine authority under the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999.
Wine Country Ontario
Ontario, situated in central Canada, extends further south than any other province in Canada. Its wine grape growing regions are located along a strip of land that parallels the Canada/U.S. border along the northern shore of Lake Erie, as well as along the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario. The Great Lakes help to provide a temperate continental climate that has contributed to creating a zone in Ontario called the Carolinian Forest, named after the same habitat found as far south as the Carolinas in the United States. It is considered a Canadian national treasure with more species of rare plants and animals than any other place in Canada.
Wines of Canada: Pelee Island Wine History
Pelee Island has one of the longest growing season the most frost free days and the most heat units. It was and is a unique microclimate for growing quality grapes. It is one of Canada’s oldest grape growing regions. One of the very early wineries of Canada was built on the island in 1866: the Vin Villa Winery officially opened in 1871 and became renowned for its rare Catawba wines and the many awards it won from as far away as Europe.