Friday, October 5, 2012

Pelee Island

During a t.v. auction last autumn, I bid on and won a wine basket, a winery tour, barbecue lunch and overnight guest house stay on Pelee Island. I already knew that Pelee Island was the southernmost inhabited area in Canada, although its exact location was a bit of a mystery to me. I was also aware that there were many natural habitats and endangered species on the island. After researching, I discovered that Pelee Island was quite far south in Lake Erie. In fact, it's so far south that twenty-seven U.S. states lie all or in part to the north of it. Imagine that. Over half the U.S. states are north of this part of Canada.

I looked forward to the excursion.  We opted to go during a less busy time of year, the beginning of October. This proved to be an excellent decision. We drove and spent the night in a lovely bed and breakfast in Kingsville, about a block from the ferry docks. Our ferry reservation was at 10 a.m. and it was suggested that we get there an hour ahead. This facilitated lining up cars, saved on boarding time and ensured our space.

 The trip to the island took one and a half hours on board the M.V. Jiimaan. The weather was fantastic, the air and the view, fabulous. There is a short video about Pelee Island which is available for viewing on the ferry. I recommend it.
Our first stop after disembarking the ferry was the Pelee Island Winery. We took the noon tour. After tasting some delicious grapes off the vine, we walked around the grounds and learned about the island and the winery's history. Then received a lesson on corks, viewed a video and sampled five wines. Our tour guide was terrific and explained about wine barrels and the massive antique European grape press found in the pavillion.
The time just flew by. After our tour, we received a barbeque lunch and glass of wine each on our specially reserved table. We even had a tablecloth!
We toured the island, discovered gorgeous beaches, wild turkeys, sculptures, nature reserves, birds and a lighthouse. Afterwards, we found the winery guest house. We were the only guests. In fact, we were the only people around. How peaceful and quiet it was.
In the evening, we watched the sun set.
The next day, as we waited on the ferry to return to mainland, we saw the grapes arriving. They would be making the trip with us.

Even though I don't necessarily want my blogs to turn into travelogues, I wanted to share some details of this wonderful, worthwhile trip to the southernmost inhabited point in Canada.
***Important note - The winery closes for the season. This year, it shut down on October 7th. The number of ferry trips are reduced after the summer. You must have a reservation on the ferry if taking a vehicle. The ferry also goes to Sandusky, Ohio. Check the schedule for dates and times.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for such a wonderful post

    i'm so happy to learn about a place i never knew existed