About the Estate

The Estate and the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) Wine Region
The Estate is situated on 40 acres of land with 10 acres of vines in the heart of the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) wine region, in Essex County (Harrow), Ontario, Canada. The land consists of fertile, light-textured soil that is the end result of millions of years of sedimentary deposits by glacial lakes. The sandy loam and gravel deposits are punctuated by small, irregular stony ridges, overlaying shale-limestone bedrock.
The region has a rich history in wine-making, starting in 1866 when Canada’s first commercial winery, Vin Villa Estates, was founded on Pelee Island. Now there are over 1,400 acres of vineyards in southwestern Ontario located along a peninsula that hugs the north shore of Lake Erie. The warm climate, and its location along the 42nd north parallel, similar to that of Northern California and southern France, gives the region the highest accumulation of heat units in Ontario. With this southern exposure, lake effect, and abundance of sunshine, it is a terroir conducive to growing quality grapes.
Dad's fav pic with the grapes
Our Fearless Founder – Santino (aka Sam) Paglione
A stone and masonry artist, developer, entrepreneur, musician, entertainer, comedian, grape grower, bottle washer, and all around fun guy, Sam Paglione made wine almost his entire life (40 years to be precise).
He was born in Italy, in the Apennine Mountain town of Capracotta, approximately 1800 meters above sea level, just east of Rome. When he was 10 years old, his family left Italy and moved to Canada, where they settled in Leamington, Ontario.
Driven by sheer determination and unfailing optimism, Sam’s first entrepreneurial pursuit was in 1970 at 24 years of age, when he built a variety store and small take-out restaurant called the Frosty Treat at the marina in Kingsville, Ontario. Sam’s wife then ran the store and restaurant, taking care of their 2 children, while he moved on to his next venture – getting his construction company off the ground; later known as Santal Homes Ltd.
Santal Homes may not have been as well known as Sam Paglione was himself, but anyone traveling through Essex County has been exposed to his old world, quality workmanship, which includes some of the most architecturally significant buildings in the region, such as the Pelee Island Winery, Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, the refurbished King’s Hotel (now The Grove Hotel), and of course, Paglione Estate Winery.
Since he was a little boy in Italy, Sam always dreamed of owning a winery. On July 19, 2013, that dream became a reality and Paglione Estate Winery opened its doors to the public. Nestled on the crest of a hill, the Winery – an old-world, Tuscan-style masterpiece, complete with clay tile roof, stone façade, and turret – is a work of art; truly symbolic of Sam’s style, and the wine isn’t that bad either.
Taking care of us from above…in loving memory of Santino “Sam” Paglione 1946 to 2015