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Thursday November 15th, 2012

Posted at 2:00pm

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It is a little-known fact that Canada’s first commercial winemaking enterprise can be traced back nearly 150 years to the limestone-rich soils of Pelee Island. This bit of history evolved into the modern-day Pelee Island Winery and is now the subject of a new book that weaves the tales of winemaking, agriculture and Lake Erie into a fascinating tour of Pelee Island and Windsor/Essex County.

Southern Exposure: How Pelee Island Winery Brought Winemaking Back To Its Birthplace is the story of what makes Pelee Island unique and how the modern-day Pelee Island Winery became the keeper of a sacred trust founded not only on the environment, but on the human history of Canada’s most southerly inhabited community. It is also the story of how the mild climate of western Lake Erie has fostered the development of one of Canada’s most important winemaking regions.

Written and published by Windsor author Gary May, the book contains 192 full-colour pages of fascinating stories and photographs about the people and events those both historical and current that have shaped Essex County’s wine story, including tales of the pioneer winemakers on Pelee Island and the Prohibition bootleggers on Lake Erie and the Detroit River.

The book shines the spotlight on local agriculture and its role on a national level, it introduces you to the estate wineries that join Pelee Island Winery in forming the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) winemaking region and offers information about the many natural and cultural attractions that make Windsor/Essex County a destination worth exploring.

Southern Exposure will be available for sale at the winery gift shop in Kingsville, the Pelee Island Pavilion and Windsor and area book dealers for $24.95. Pelee Island Winery will donate $4 to the Pelee Island Bird Observatory from every book sold. “We wanted to recognize PIBO for the wonderful work they do,” said Walter Schmoranz.

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