Wrapping up 2021, we look back to our last blogs of 2020, Focus on the Good, which looked at some of your and our favourites and positive highlights of that year. Also, the previous blog, Gratitude, Hope and Cheer, with its year-end review weighing in on our steps to reach our 2020 Vision laid out at the beginning of the year.
Now we find ourselves here, on the eve of Christmas 2021, with all four of these on our mind.
Creating quality, accessible wines that consistently meet your exceptions is what drives us. In choosing local Ontario wines, your engagement via social media and your feedback on how we are doing whether through email, Google review or Trip Advisor, all were invaluable to that mission.
Your ongoing support, understanding and patience as our team navigated through the constant changes of 2021 was the good that kept us going. It’s you, our customers, who continue to be our guidepost.
As 2021 saw us unable to consistently interact with community through supporting in-person events, we took to sharing community online and through our Kingsville Retail Boutique Tasting Bar. You, our customers, joined us without hesitation and we are grateful. In 2021, we were able to partner with numerous not-for-profit organizations to assist in raising much needed funds.
Our furry and not so furry friends felt the love with our “Pet Pic” labels. They benefited the incredible work of both the Windsor Essex Humane Society and The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth. Our team loved watching the photos come in of your pets.
In Kingsville, at our Retail Boutique Tasting Bar, your generosity in participating in our “donation of choice” for tastings enabled us to support multiple charitable organizations including Grow On Windsor, Canadian Freshwater Alliance – Lake Erie Challenge, PRIDE Windsor and our local area food banks.
Close to our home, we joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)’s Florian Diamante Wetland Restoration Project to restore a wetland on Pelee Island. Through our VQA Core Line series of wines and a donation option at our online Wine Shop Check out, you all inspired us with your care for our environment.
Your support of the above mentioned NCC Pelee Island Florian Diamante Wetland Restoration Project was just the tip of how you demonstrated your support for our sustainable initiatives. Your inquiries and comments showed us that how we make your wine and our footprint here is important to you. We’re thrilled about that as it’s one of our own key values.
The Sustainable Winemaking Ontario (SWO) program continued to grow and we are honoured to be active members. Pelee Island Winery is SWO certified in both our vineyard and winery practices. In addition, all of our VQA wines from 2017 vintage on are Vegecert vegan certified.
We are also happy to share that the solar panels on the roof of our Kingsville facility generate the renewable offset of 57% of the electricity that we consume. (read more here)
Perhaps one of the prettiest and most popular sustainable initiatives we undertook in 2021 was the introduction of the LOLA 250mL aluminum bottles. The same premium VQA, Sustainable Winemaking Ontario certified and VegeCert vegan certified wine you know, kicked off Spring 2021 in a convenient, resealable and infinitely recyclable bottle.
We also found hope for a bright future in our partnership and your support of Vinequity, Canada’s first and only online directory of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) people, who’s goal is to identify, acknowledge and elevate the presence and importance of diversity in our country’s wine industry.
Along with Wine Country Ontario and Ontario Craft Wineries, we hosted a Vinequity fireside chat in our Lake Erie North Shore wine region in early fall. We then handed over our Tuesday social media and 2 blogs to the Vinequity team. We also committed to sitting down to listen and learn. This blog is a must read – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is the Backbone of a Strong and Colourful Wine Industry.
It’s amazing what we can do when we work together.
2021 saw new offerings from our winemakers to your glass. The LOLA 250mL aluminum was one. Introducing our redesigned Cottage Series wines, formerly the Bird Series, was another.
In more sustainable packaging news, we expanded the wines found in the 3L Bag in Box format to include some of your VQA core line favourites, Lighthouse VQA and Pelee Pink VQA. This convenient and sustainable packaging option also keeps the wine fresh for up to 6 weeks upon opening.
Our most recent are Empress and Empress II, our nod to the evolution of winemaking on Pelee Island. Made in the Traditional Method, these sparkling wines are labour intense with daily hand turning of bottles.
We would like to thank our entire team for their commitment to a safe workplace and their dedication to our customers and community.
May your holiday season check off all of the above. Goodness, gratitude, hope and cheer.
Pssttt… Don’t forget! While you’re here to sign up for our Birthday Club and receive a $20 Gift Voucher for your birthday!