At 550 acres, the Pelee Island vineyards comprise the largest private estate in Canada. Having control of our grape supply allows us to grow and care for each and every vine to specifications strictly outlined by the World Wildlife Fund's strict Sustainable Vineyard Practice. In brief, this means limited and controlled pesticide spraying and use of a 100% island grown natural fertilizer; sorghum grass.
With heat units and frost free days unmatched anywhere else in Canada, the island is a natural destination for Vinifera grape growing. Varietals grown on the island include:
Soil type is Toledo clay with a limestone base found two to ten feet from the surface. The ideal vineyards are located at the centre of the island where deeper soils encourage and ensure properly set root systems, as much of the island is concave and below the surface of Lake Erie drainage pipes expel excessive rainfall. This excess water is carried into the island's century old dyke system, carved in the shape of a tic-tac-toe board. In rare times of drought, this dyke system is reversed to pump water through the drainage pipes back into the vineyards.
Winds off the lake ensure consistent and proper air flow through the vineyards, limiting humidity and possible fungus damage. In fact, there is so much wind power on tap that a turbine has been proposed. If erected, it will be able to power all island residents with 100% renewable green energy.