About the Winery
What began as a dream of simplicity became a simple dream. Find a farm, grow grapes. It evolved into a plan to grow great grapes and later to make fabulous wine. After searching province wide, we found the farm. Our vineyard’s gentle southern slopes nurture acres of vines on the Avon Peninsula. We’re surrounded by the ever changing tidal landscape of the St. Croix and Avon Rivers, rolling hills and the panoramic Avondale sky. It’s here, in this wonderful, peaceful place that the vintner’s art is alive, creating extraordinary wines.
The vineyard is one of the oldest in the province but our winery is among the newest. The evolution from vineyard to winery has been a journey. Rather than construct a new winery, the decision was made to salvage an old barn which was looking forlorn on a dyke along the St. Croix River ten kilometers from the vineyard. While it was being dismantled to be transported to its new home, offers to rescue other barns began to trickle in. Then churches. Then the trickle picked up momentum.
St. Matthews Church from Walton
Of the buildings we had an opportunity to purchase, St. Matthews Church from Walton was the one for us. The simple, elegant structure exuded a calm strength. We couldn’t stand to know that if we couldn’t give it a new home, it would be destroyed. Moving it wouldn’t be easy, but we were confident it would be worth the effort. But St. Matthews wasn’t a stranger to a tough journey. Active since 1844, this parish saw the need to relocate the church in the past. The village of Walton had developed closer to the waterfront than was originally anticipated. So, one winter about a century and a half ago, the parishioners used oxen to move the building to its new site three kilometers from the old.
The church’s second move involved a bit more of an adventure. Avondale Sky Winery is 42 kilometers from Walton. Having been moved by road to the waterfront, it waited all winter to be loaded on a ferry. Once on the ferry, St. Matthews had a journey lasting just over 24 hours riding tides that fell and rose over 43 feet.
Once in place, the vineyard and the panoramic Avondale Sky reflect in the stained glass windows of this beautiful structure. When the winery is open everyone can experience the magnificence of the church as it will be our on-site retail space for Avondale Sky Winery.
It is rewarding to know our restoration was a labour of love not only for ourselves, but others as well. We were thrilled to have the building win the Nova Scotia Heritage Trust’s 2011 Heritage Built Award, Commercial Division.
“Today the great travelling church is one of the most tranquil and lovely wine tasting rooms in the world.” The Globe and Mail
Experience it for yourself.