As early as 12,000 years ago, Paleo-Indians roamed the tundra of Prince Edward County hunting with fluted spear points. After the ice age, as trees began to grow, three cultures followed: the Archaic, hunter-gatherers; Mound-builders, who lived in larger groups with some agriculture; and Iroquois, who formed villages and farms. During the latter half of the 1700’s and 1800’s the Mississauga Indians also lived in Prince Edward.
In 1668 Sulpician Priests established a Mission in the Lake Consecon area called Kente. It served the Iroquois villages on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It was abandoned in 1680. A 1757 French map named Prince Edward “Presquille de Quintee”. As British, French and Dutch trade wars erupted from time to time, under British rule in 1763, Prince Edward and beyond was declared “Indian Country” and no formal settlement by Europeans was allowed.
The County being solely “Indian Country” didn’t last for long and changed with the arrival of some 500 Loyalists subsequent to the American Revolution.
After the American Civil War in the late 1700’s, the King of England gave Peter Van Alstine, a British Loyalist Officer, acreage throughout Prince Edward County in thanks for his service during the War of Independence. Van Alstine took land in Adolphustown, all of Lake on the Mountain and the Wellington/Hillier area. He was most famous, however, for having built the Glenora Ferry in the early 1800’s, which has operated in different forms from the Adolphustown area to Glenora for over 200 years. Initially powered by oars for passengers only, it evolved to its present form.
By building the Glenora Mills at Lake on the Mountain, Peter Van Alstine created the County’s first viable economy. He was also one of the last Members of Parliament to be appointed by the King. After Van Alsine, all members of Parliament have been elected.
Van Alstine was the first individual to “officially own” our land. Being a bit of a mariner for having built the Glenora ferry and as Port is a mariner’s wine, we thought naming the first Prince Edward County Port after him was a perfect fit.
As Van Alstine had no sons, his son-in-law administered the dismantling of the estate upon his death. The Stevenson family became the owners of the property in the early 1800’s.
The Stevenson Family was the first to build a homestead on the land. The original homestead can still be seen on Danforth Road just east of our carriage house. The property was used at various times for grain, as a tomato farm and dairy operation.
We purchased the property in 2005 from the Stevenson family who had owned it for over 200 years. The 93 acre property extends from Danforth Road in the North to the Wellington on the Lake Golf Course on the south. The property starts at Chase Road on the west, running east past Hubbs Creek ending at the old Stevenson family homestead. We are about 1 ½ km north of Lake Ontario.
The drystone wall that frames our barn was built in the fall of 2005. Planting of the vineyard began in 2006 with the first 3 ½ acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Frontenac Noir going in. In 2007 we built the drystone bridge over Hubbs Creek which winds through our property. The bridge, which is the largest of its type in North America, as well as the wall before it were built with the Drystone Wall Association of Canada and volunteers from across Canada and the United States. Wine Production began in 2008 with our first vintage. The milking area of the circa 1880 barn was renovated to house our production area, tanks and barrels.
We opened the winery in 2010 with the creation of our tasting room in the center of the barn as well as renovations which included the Loft art gallery and our covered outdoor deck.