A grocer by the name of Major J.S. Hamilton became interested
in the wines of Pelee Island. In 1871 he was granted a royal
charter to sell wines and liquor. In 1874 he entered into agreement
with the Pelee Island growers and moved the actual winemaking operation
to Brantford. The J.S Hamilton and Company Limited absorbed the Pelee Island Wine and Vineyard Company in 1909.
Forty years later in 1949 It was all sold to the London Winery
Back in British Columbia the Oblate Father's vineyard
at their mission near Kelowna was producing wine starting in the 1920's. Father Charles John Felex Adolphe Marie
Pandosy was the founder of the first settlement in the Okanagan Valley, the planter
of the first apples and grapes. He built the first school for
settlers and native children, and acted as counselor, confessor, agriculturalist, musician and sports coach. He
soon became known as a peace-maker and defender of justice; especially for the underdog.
It was the gold rush that brought settlers to the Okanagan.
When the gold panned out. Orchards were planted allowing for the valley
to prosper for many years. At the northern end of the Okanagan the
town of Salmon Arm was founded officially in 1890. Pictured above is the first commercial
orchard, the McGuire Orchard in 1891. It is believed that
the earliest record of commercial grape production in BC was in Salmon Arm, by W.J. Wilcox.
The Church was also responsible for early winemaking in Quebec. Samuel
de Champlain who planted vines near Quebec City in 1608 was likely the first
to try viticulture in Quebec. The Church was also responsible for early winemaking (1900's) in Quebec.
Claire a man known only as Mr. Menzies created a large (for those days)
vineyard called Beaconsfield. In Quebec the first licenses to operate vineyards were issued in 1980
In the 1860's through to prohibition the main
focus on winemaking was in Ontario developing and experimenting with
grapes and techniques to conquer the local weather conditions. This
led to the introduction of the Niagara Grape. a cross between Concord
and Cassady. Its' presence was first recorded in 1882. By 1890
there were 41 commercial wineries across Canada, of which
35 were in Ontario.
A significant event occurred in 1875 when George Burns
started a winery in St Catherines, Ontario. The company with a long name designed
to clearly state its purpose was The Ontario Grape Growing and
Wine Manufacturing Company Limited. It operated until 1988 under
the name Barnes Wines. A year later in 1876 Thomas Bright and F.A. Shirriff
opened a winery in Toronto. It was called the Niagara Falls Wine Company.
In 1890 they moved it to Niagara Falls and in 1911 changed the name
to T.G Bright. The name can still
be found today, it is a brand name of Vincor Canada.
And then along came WWI and
Prohibition followed by the 30's and 40's
More in depth information the People and the Wineries
London Winery, Vincor, Baby Duck,History of Icewine