Great Auk Winery

Where we create our delicious wines!

Come Visit us on Twillingate Island, a beautiful village in Notre Dame Bay. Sip from a glass of our wine while watching icebergs drift past and whales play in the bay. There are many trails and lookouts all over the island that offer this awesome opportunity. We welcome you to experience real refreshment!

Our Building

Great Auk Winery is located in the former Durrell’s Academy in Durrell’s Arm, South Twillingate Island. Built in 1952, the school saw hundreds of children pass through its doors, and many fond memories and lifelong friendships being forged, before it closed in 1991.

The Community

Twillingate is a town of about 3,000 inhabitants situated on two islands, connected by causeway, in Notre Dame Bay. Its name comes from the French migratory fishermen who named their summer station for its similarity to a group of islands off the French coast, near Brest, called "Toulinquet."

Twillingate is at the mouth of the Exploits River where it flows into Notre Dame Bay. For early settlers, the islands provided an excellent sheltered harbour and easy access to the rich fishing grounds nearby. In recent years a causeway has been built connecting it to the mainland via New World Island.

Twillingate was probably used as a seasonal fishing port during the 15th and 16th centuries, but there were no recorded European settlers until the 17th century. The native (now extinct) Beothuk indians managed to survive until the early 19th century in small numbers near Twillingate and the mouth of the Exploits River.

By the winter of 1739, there were 152 people - the "livyers" or permanent settlers - living in Twillingate. They were mostly fishermen and their families from the West Country in England.

As the population grew, Twillingate became an important fishing community - the "Capital of the North" it was called. It was a busy trade and service centre for Labrador and the northern shore fisheries for more than two centuries.

One of the most prominent historical events in Twillingate history was the long run of its local newspaper, "The Twillingate Sun," which served the Twillingate district from the 1880s to 1950s. "The Sun" was a robust and professional newspaper that covered not just local and provincial happenings, but international news as well.

Since the provincial moratorium on fishing northern cod was announced on July 2, 1992, residents of Twillingate have been increasingly relying on the tourism industry for income as their town is a popular spot for visitors in the summer. Twillingate is now touted as the "Iceberg Capital of the World."

Twillingate is home to a popular annual event called the Fish Fun and Folk Festival, which draws thousands from around the province, the country and the world. The festival is held on the last full weekend of July and is filled with many fun things to do including indoor booths and games, nightly entertainment, gospel concerts, the ever-popular Split Peas concert, a massive fireworks display and many more activities that are great for the entire family. (Source:


Available from May to September

Group Tours:

We can accommodate group tours of up to 50 visitors. For groups over 10, please call ahead to schedule a convenient tour time.