10 wineries in Prince Edward County for your next wine crawl
Prince Edward County, once in the shadow of Niagara as a destination for wine aficionados, has emerged from its little sister status to make a name for itself.
With over 40 wineries popping up in just 20 years, The County is garnering international acclaim for Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that could go toe-to-toe with the finest bottles from France.
The region's terroir is similar to Burgundy, with natural hillsides rich with rocky soils of varying compositions. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Cab Franc vines thrive, despite the cool weather and short growing season.
The County is a 2 to 2.5 hour drive east of Toronto making it ideal for a weekend getaway.
The relaxed pace of living coupled with stunning scenery just might make it the perfect place to leisurely treasure-hunt for your new favourite bottle of Pinot Noir.
There's no shortage of award-winners to choose from, but here are some Prince Edward County wineries you shouldn't miss.
This is the oldest operating winery in The County, and looks like a postcard snapshot from The Hamptons. The picturesque lakeside grounds cover 100 acres, with seven different vineyard plots on the property that each have a unique terroir.
Growing 18 different varieties, their wines have won both national and international medals. Waupoos also has a fine-dining restaurant offering multi-course prefix menus for lunch and dinner, as well as an event space, chocolate and gelato store, and petting zoo.
Rustic charm and unfiltered wine is what you'll find at The Old Third. This small winery has a gorgeous renovated barn with several levels of seating, as well as outdoor space to stroll around as you sip.
They focus on high-density plantings of Pinot Noir, but also make sparkling apple cider from local golden russet apples. You'll also want to come hungry for their pasta bar, which has made-to-order specials using seasonal ingredients from nearby farms.
Closson Chase is hard to miss, with its Instagram-worthy vibrant purple barn and manicured landscaping. The Grande Cuveé Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are both excellent, receiving recognition in the New York Times and Wine Spectator in 2019.
The atmosphere is stylish and inviting, with seating in a beautiful botanical garden in the vineyard.
With an inn, restaurant, and art gallery on the grounds, Huff Estates is one of the only multi-faceted concepts of its kind in The County. While known for their Burgundian-style wines, they also produce a Riesling that’s not only refreshing and tart, but also one of their best-sellers.
The Oeno Gallery is also worth checking out, featuring mainly Canadian contemporary fine art and an outdoor sculpture garden.
Hinterland does one thing and does it right: sparkling wine. As their sole focus, the wine tasting menu is small, but really allows you to get a sense of their methods.
Their flights are playful, such as the Pretty In Pink tasting with samples of sparkling rosé. The tasting room is also lovely and modern, with an indoor/outdoor covered seating area overlooking the vineyard.
Exultet Estates is one of The County's smaller boutique wineries, but don't be fooled by its unassuming appearance. The family-run winery has certainly worked towards their goal of "making the most elegant expression of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that this land is capable of", winning gold five consecutive times at the Ontario Wine Awards.
They also have a dry sparkling apple wine under their Knucklehead brand, endearingly named after their children.
Sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario, Sandbanks Winery is renowned for their lively, fun environment as much as they are for their full-bodied reds and crisp whites.
Named after the terroir it was built on made of broken limestone and loam, Broken Stone is a welcoming family-owned and operated winery with a large outdoor setting and occasional live music.
Their tactic of keeping yields low has encouraged their vines to produce their best fruit, resulting in top-tier Pinot Gris, Gamay Noirs, and Pinot Noirs that have received many accolades.
Brimming with countryside glamour, Grange of Prince Edward Winery is The County's largest estate vineyard. With 60 acres of vines and 7 varieties of grapes, all of their wines are 100% estate grown.
The tasting room is within a 200-year-old historic barn, and their food offerings at the outdoor kitchen are a perfect pairing, created by chef and personality Matt DeMille.
Karlo Estates prides itself on being a completely vegan winery, from everything on the menu to the printing on the packaging. Their Estate Grown Chardonnay 2017 and Estate Pinot Noir 2017 were both named on WineAlign's Best of the Best of Ontario list.
Karlo's Victorian-style barn will make you feel like you stepped back in time, with an ornate speakeasy wine lounge complete with red velvet furnishings and cozy fireplace.
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