Work, Stay and Play on Island Time. What’s it like to be a part of the team on island time at our Pelee Island Winery Pavilion? We asked two of our team members who started at the Pavilion and have stayed and grown into new roles with us.

Know someone who may love this experience? After reading, refer them to us! If they’re hired, you’ll receive a referral bonus! All the details at the end of the blog.

From Pavilion to Vineyard – Meet Lauren

Lauren joined us at the Pelee Island Winery Pavilion in 2020. What a season to begin! Lauren fell in love with Pelee Island her first season with us and is heading into her third year on island time.

What did/do you do at the Pavilion? I currently work as a tasting bar associate and tour guide. I also share my time working in the vineyard office. 

Working with our Viticulturist, Lauren makes sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. She’s an important part of our on-island team ensuring the grapes reach their full potential.

How long have you worked at the Pavilion? In my first year I was working at the pavilion for 3 months during a shortened season due to the COVID-19 restrictions. In my second year, I worked a full contract season (May – October). During this year there were still COVID restrictions, so the role varied with tasks. But, then with great excitement I was working as a server offering tastings during our opening to the public from July – October. This year, I am currently set to work a full contract season with the excitement of a fully open pavilion! 

What do you like about working at the Pavilion? Being able to share the specially curated wines with customers and visitors has been very rewarding. Daily embodying and sharing the common values, missions, and sustainable beliefs and practices that the winery adheres to is something that is important to me . There have been ongoing learning opportunities available as a pavilion staff member, as well as the opportunity to partake in and assist with community events, such as the Lake Erie Challenge.

The staff accommodations were an incredible addition as well as a strong sense of community and inclusion from both mentors and co-workers. 

What did you like about living on Pelee Island? Pelee Island has a rich diversity of nature and an impactful history. The collective appreciation for the island from locals, workers, business owners and visitors make your visit and stay on Pelee a perfect memory.

What’s in your plans?  I am continuing my employment with the winery and I have been enjoying the ongoing connection with locals. Pelee is a small and supportive community. My goal is to secure a position at the public school currently located on the island. (Yes! Pelee Island does have a 3-classroom public school.)

Currently, what’s your favourite Pelee Island wine that you would recommend? For the rosé lovers Lola Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA is pure summer. For the red wine lovers the Bourbon Barrel Baco Noir VQA is a must! For the white wine lovers I suggest the Non oaked Chardonnay VQA. 

From Pavilion to Life on the Road to Head Office – Meet Matt

Matt is the one who keeps us all laughing and then wows us with his knowledge of wine and his dedication to sharing all that Ontario wine has to offer.

What did you do at the Pavilion? I was a tour guide my first year and second year I was Pavilion Manager.

How long did you work at the Pavilion? 2 summers, about 9 months in total.

What did you like about working at the Pavilion? It’s an incredible experience. You show up on the first day with your bags and meet your coworkers who you are going to be living and working with, it’s like a game show except these people are now your friends.

You can go from zero knowledge about wine to having an informed conversation with a sommelier in about a month. You learn about the unique history and environment on the island and you get to know the viticulture team too. Not to mention for a summer job as a student, it’s an amazing way to bank up good money so you don’t have to work during the school year.

What did you like about living on Pelee Island? There is a unique feeling being on an island. You can only leave by boat and “island time” makes you take things a little slower and enjoy things a little more. Hanging out with coworkers after work was a favourite part. We would go to the beach, go to the bar together and sing karaoke. Hot summer nights are perfect for a late-night swim in Lake Erie and on days off, you can bike or hike around the entire island.

You really meet friends on Pelee who you are going to be connected to for the rest of your life.  They say you don’t become an islander until you’ve lived on Pelee for 10 years but anyone who spends a few months on the island will have a community. 

What do you do with Pelee now? I am the Sales and Marketing Coordinator.

In total, how many years have you been with Pelee? Not counting a small two year break I was in Australia I have been with Pelee for 10 years to the day.

Do you still go over to visit Pelee Island? I try to get over to the island on at least 3 non-business related trips a year. I love it.

Currently, what’s your favourite/what are you sipping in your glass? You can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned glass of Blanc De Blanc VQA. Its crisp aromatic white super food friendly and a crowd pleaser, amazing stuff.

For all the information for the 2022 season – see Pelee Island Pavilion Sales Associate Position


Pssttt… Don’t forget! While you’re here to sign up for our Birthday Club and receive a $20 Gift Voucher for your birthday!