Travel stuff

Do you like wine, swimming and pastries, perchance?

Written by Jesse Wilkinson

So, I thought I would use this week’s post to Rrave about I place I visited recently and would highly recommend for all you Rrampt readers out there (all 200 of you!). This place has the unique charm of being an island small enough to transverse on a bicycle, some of the nicest beaches I’ve been to in awhile, a beautiful winery and the boast of being the most southern point in Canada. Guess it yet? Yup – I’m talking about Pelee Island.


If you’ve been here, you understand the charm I’m talking about. If you haven’t, let me give you a few highlights of what to expect when you get your ass there.

The ferry leaves from Leamington, which is itself a great little town, but one that has sadly lost one of its backbones – the Heinz plant. The ferry is only about 7 bucks to board as a pedestrian, but you don’t need a vehicle if you only plan to visit the winery or do some day tripping. I would highly recommend bringing a bike – something I wish I had done.

The winery, which is only a 5 minute walk from the ferry terminal, will definitely seduce you if you like any of the following: wine tasting, wine drinking, wine gulping, picnic tables on the grass, listening to music, bbq-ing fine meats and vegetables, buying more wine to take home and drink.   You can find out more here: Pelee Island Winery

The sample of wines are very good: Okay, here’s where I could pretend to know a lot about wine and go on to talk about the bouquets, legs and aromas of all the wines we tasted and use words like vanilla, coffee, asparagus, leggy, full bodied, peppery and so on;  I really want to, but I’ll refrain and just say that the one I liked the most for a hot sunny afternoon was the Umbrella Gewurztraminer/Reisling and the red I liked the most to take home in bottle-form was the Baco Noir.

Just like music, everyone has their own taste in wine and these differences should be celebrated. Go there and find what you like the most – you don’t need to justify it to anyone. If you like it, drink it – tell the wine snobs to f— off if they start snickering.

The band playing on that particular day was called James OL and the Villains and they played a perfect selection of original material and covers that included a nice dose of Creedence.  (I wouldn’t hold out for the tape deck, though.)


James OL and the Villains


You can find their music here: James OL and the Villains (check out their single Yellow Gold – one of my favs!).  They’re also playing the Mudtown Music Festival in Owen Sound on August 9th.

I couldn’t talk about Pelee Island without mentioning the best café I’ve been to in a long time. It’s called Conorlee’s Bakery and Delicatessen and is a family run business linked to a bed and breakfast.  It is here that I was able to fuse my love of food with my favourite movie.   If you are on Pelee, you must go in and get your hands on a Big Lebowski! Yup, that’s right – that sweet baby that I’m biting into below is named the Big Lebowski and I couldn’t resist. It is big, yes, but aptly named because it will really tie the whole experience together!  We had spent the day on the grass in the sunshine drinking wine and listening to live music, laid on the beach, walked along the coast and even took a sunset dip on the west side of the island after a tour from a local….what left to do but enjoy some of the finest food the island had to offer.

The Big Lebowski!


So, I hope you’ll find enough reasons to go check out Pelee for yourself.  If you get there and try a Big Lebowski, make sure to send a pic along to Rrampt, so I can post it next to mine and we can be ridiculous gluttons together!

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Jesse Wilkinson


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