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Our Story

Celebrating the simple life in Canada's southernmost wine region with food, wine, and Italian charm, we pay homage to the wine-making traditions of the old world, enhanced by the unique terroir of southern Ontario.

Made as they were generations before, our high quality, small batch wines are crafted with minimal intervention using only the best locally grown grapes. From our cellar to our kitchen, it's all about carrying on the tradition. Simple yet delicious wines, Nonna-approved recipes, antipasti platters, wood-fired pizza, and handmade gelato.

Welcome to our table.

staff photo at paglione estate winery in essex ontario

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.

Taking care of us from above…in loving memory of Santino “Sam” Paglione 1946 to 2015. 

 

Sam Paglione, Founder