Founded in 1866 on Pelee Island, Vin Villa remains the most historically significant winery in North America. It is Canada’s first commercial winery, first Canadian winery to make champagne and first winery in North America to win worldwide recognition. Founded by Thaddeus Smith and partners, Vin Villa was built from Pelee Island limestone and became the home for Thaddeus Smith, his wife and children. This 25 acres vineyard of catawba grapes quickly became the place for social gatherings on the island, along with building a reputation for producing award winning wines. Gaining notoriety from being exhibited at several industrial exhibitions from Toronto, to Edinburough, to Chicago, it wasn’t until the Vin Villa wines were showcased at the World’s Fair in Paris France that Vin Villa was effectively recognized on the world stage. The St. Augustine Communion wine began manufacturing at Vin Villa in 1875 and remained the most popular communion wine well into the late 19th century.