Gillis of Belleisle Winery

Gillis of Belleisle Winery is a modern take on a centuries old tradition. The winery sits at the head of the Belleisle Bay, its vineyards covering the hillsides where cattle once grazed on this former dairy farm. The dairy produced milk and cheese which was sold locally, or shipped to Saint John onboard steamers like “Hampton” and “Springfield” which plied the Belleisle Bay. Now, the fertile soil of the winery produces Marquette and Osceola Muscat grapes for wine making. Gillis of Belleisle also produces seasonal fruit wines, such as blueberry, apple and cranberry, a nod to the economy of earlier settlers who made use of all available food sources in this fertile river valley.

In designing the main building of the winery (which opened in 2003), great care was taken to create a facility that blended in with the heritage and tradition of the farm and the surrounding community as well as Tuscan wineries. Local artisans were engaged to custom-design and build the structure. Containing the tasting room, the shop and all the wine production facilities, the building is a modern facility with obvious links to the area’s historic past.

The manager's mother, Judy, chose the Lemoyne Star for the winery. She began sewing when she was 12 after learning from her favourite Home Ec. Teacher. Twenty years ago she pieced her first quilt and hasn't stopped since. She has passed her skills onto her daughters and granddaughters. She describes the Star as "the first difficult block I encountered" and has been returning to it now and then.

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