Looking to plan a road trip to visit the best wineries in Prince Edward County?
It’s no secret why the Globe and Mail recently called Prince Edward County the “gastronomic capital of Ontario.” It offers the ultimate farm-to-table experience with a small-town charm where you can easily end up rubbing elbows at the bar with local farmers, winemakers and chefs.
Prince Edward County is one of the most exciting wine regions to enjoy a rural romp in Ontario. I first visited The County four years ago and was amazed on my recent trip to see how Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington (and all the cute spots in between) have evolved in such a short time. You can see, taste and smell the youthful entrepreneurial spirit here.
The County’s limestone-rich soil and climate provide a terroir that is producing scores of award-winning wines. The varietals that grow best are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, two grapes you’ll be swooning for as you adventure along romantic rural roads.
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Hotels Near the Wineries in Prince Edward County
Looking to enjoy a weekend getaway to sip through the best wineries in Prince Edward County? We suggest spending 2-3 nights in The Country to properly explore the regions vineyards.
A weekend will give you enough time to explore the regions gourmet restaurants, beautiful beaches, local shops and award-winning wineries!
- Picton Harbour Inn 3 STARS: this boutique hotel in Picton offers contemporary rooms with an on-site restaurant.
- The Drake Motor Inn 4 STARS: Toronto’s famous luxury boutique hotel brand has two posh properties in Prince Edward County. The Drake Devonshire is an upscale lakeside retreat while The Drake Motor Inn is a pet-friendly mid-range option.
- Merrill House 3 STARS: Set in a red-brick house, this cosy inn is a block from Picton Harbour and offers traditional rooms which are individually decorated.
Best Prince Edward County Wine Tours
Leave your car at home in Toronto so you can enjoy a carefree day in Prince Edward County with your own private winery guide.
- Full day small group wine tour: Learn about the region’s climate, and wine-making trends from a certified guide between sipping sparkling, red and white wines at three wineries.
- Private PEC wine tour: This full-day tour includes round-trip transportation, visits to 2 wineries, 6 wine tastings, a luxury 3-course lunch at the Waring House Restaurant.
- Lavender farm & wine tour: Enjoy a weekend of fragrance, taste and entertainment! Discover the beauty of the purple fields, the exquisite aroma of the essence of our flowers and the flavour of our culinary treats.
Best Wineries in Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County is one of Ontario’s fastest growing wine and culinary destinations. A decade ago the accommodation available was limited to B&B’s. Now, the surge in tourism has had luxury boutique hotels and chic Airbnb’s sprouting from Picton to Bloomfield.
If you’re a visiting oenophile, Prince Edward County is an exciting destination in Ontario to sip and sample. Winemakers here are creative and keen to distinguish themselves as Canada’s best wine producers.
1258 Closson Road, 613-399-2903
Fans of the pretty pop and fancy fizz should be sure to visit Hinterland Winery for a swish and sip. Owners Jonas Newman and Vicki Samaras launched Hinterland Winery in 2010, producing a range of excellent traditional, charmat and ancestral method bubbly.
Hinterland Wine Company was the 8th vineyard planted in Prince Edward County and the first to devote its entire portfolio to sparkling wine. The winery is located in a converted dairy barn. Samaras shared, “We felt strongly about keeping the original elements of the barn so apart from giving it a Scandinavian touch we have kept true to the original form.”
Jonas was inspired to open a winery in Prince Edward County with wife Vicki because of his love of wine. His oenology background began as a Sommelier and Maitre’D at Scaramouche Restaurant in Toronto. He may have cut his teeth on fine dining but he was really meant to live in the country and on a farm.
Jonas is Hinterland Winery’s resident winemaker and focuses on cultivating chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, the varieties used in method traditional sparkling wines. Samaras added, “Our sparkling wines in the traditional method are the ultimate expression of the terroir on our farm, Hillier Clay Loam, Prince Edward County dirt. We have a one metre long core sample in our winery of our soil showing the limestone and soil structure. The roots of our vines can take 35 different physical and chemical parameters from the soil and this impacts the flavour of our grapes. In Champagne, France the vintners can adjust either sugar or acidity at time of harvest but not both. Since our first harvest in 2007 we have never had to do either, our grapes have the perfect acidity and sugars for sparkling wine. Our site is a magical site for bubbles!”
In the summer Hinterland Winery offers guests edible opportunities thanks to food trucks that roll up on weekends. They also offer shuck oysters on the half shell and serve kettle chips.
251 Closson Road, 613-471-0471
Bruno and Jens run The Old Third Vineyard, a boutique winery located on a steep slope in Hillier. The duo’s first commercial harvest was in the autumn of 2008, quickly making a splash with oenophiles across Ontario.
Visitors looking to sip on site stroll through a beautiful cathedral like barn, built in the 1860s. Jens shared, “It was abandoned in the late 50’s when the farm was sold off. It sat unused until 2005 when we bought it. In order to save the barn we decided to a full restoration of it. All the rotted beams within the entire structure were replaced with new and reclaimed beams. The stone foundations were repointed and in sections completely rebuilt. All the exterior siding was replaced with new hemlock wood and all the interior flooring was taken up, repaired and placed back down.”
The Old Third winery in Prince Edward County now offers three levels for guests to enjoy while they sip wine. A kitchen has also been added, which is used for catered events.
Bruno is the resident winemaker at The Old Third, “He’s a perfectionist as well as a traditionalist. He lets the wine do its thing and speak for itself. Our pinot noir is very Burgundian. All our products are unfined and unfiltered,” said Jens.
The Old Third’s vineyard is planted high density at 3600 vines per acre. This reduces yield per vine and encourages early ripening. The vines are planted on a South-East slope producing wines with dark fruit, wild thyme and minerality.
The Old Third’s Tasting Room is open 5 days a week during high season. Since the operation here is rather small with not a lot of staff, groups larger than 7 need to make an appointment between 11am and 12pm. Maximum group size is 25.
629 Closson Road, 613-399-1418
Closson Chase is a quality-driven producer that helped spearhead the Prince Edward County wine industry, using centuries-old European traditions and sustainable, innovative techniques.
After two years spent analyzing soils in The County, Deborah Paskus settled upon Hillier Township, as the ideal location for her dream vineyard. The property was south sloping at six degrees, had good drainage, gravelly soil on a limestone base and was approximately five kilometres inshore.
The historic Prince Edward County winery opened in 1998 after taking over the space of a former dairy farm. The Closson Chase barn is painted bright purple and dates back to over 100 years. In 2002 it was restored to house the wineries tasting room.
Winemaker Keith Tyers harvests only the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Tyers is committed to creating world-class wines that are an expression of Prince Edward County terroir.
The estate comprises over 30 acres and includes a petite tasting room, rotating art gallery exhibit and gorgeous backyard garden. From May to October, a small restaurant serves chef-inspired sandwiches and soups.
1243 Greer Road, 613-399-1183
Dan and Lynn Sullivan opened Rosehall Run in 2000. The 150-acre farm was selected due to its close proximity to Lake Ontario and the remarkable clay soil scattered with rock and shale fragments on a calcareous limestone base.
It was one of the earliest wineries in Prince Edward County established in the west central region known as Hillier Ward. Planting of the vineyard began in 2001 with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
A focus on state-of-the-art winemaking led to the design and construction of a 7,200 sq ft winery facility and barrel cellar blasted deep into the limestone foundation.
Rosehall Run’s contemporary Tasting Bar is surrounded by glass allowing for an abundance of natural light and panoramic views of the vineyard. A unique three-tiered chandelier crafted by local twig artist Maggie Longworth fashioned from our dried grape vines stands out in the room. A rotating gallery of artwork produced local artists helps complete the space.
Rosehall Run’s Dan Sullivan was a prize winning amateur winemaker and he was inspired by the relationships that he developed with local grape growers and other winemakers. “Chardonnay is the most versatile grape. I am able to make a wide variety of styles, consequently it is fun and interesting to work with,” said Sullivan.
The popular winery in Prince Edward County offers an outdoor picnic area from May to October. The Rosehall Run Foodie Box is a perfect to-go snack for two, best enjoyed with a glass of wine while enjoying views over the vineyard. It contains locally-sourced artisan cheese and charcuterie with extras sourced from Prince Edward County producers.
990 Closson Rd, 613-399-1048
The Grange of Prince Edward Estate Winery first opened its doors in 2004. The vineyard is built on a Loyalist farm that was founded in 1805.
The Grange was one of the first wineries in Prince Edward County, making it a founding member of the Ontario winemaking community.
Daughter Maggie and mother Caroline Granger run the winery as a team. Tending the vineyards, making the wine, offering tours, tastings and everything in between.
The barn that houses the The Grange of Prince Edward Estate Winery was built in 1826. The foundation and beams are all original but the interior was renovated and restored in 2004. Maggie shared, “everything we did was try to preserve the historical charm. We built a 100-foot tall fieldstone fireplace in the traditional style of the era of the barn.”
Founder and winemaker Caroline Granger explained, “On our farm, and in our vineyards, we let the land be everything that it is supposed to be, thriving, wild, and perfectly imperfect. We believe that winemaking is a powerful connection to time and place. Be firmly rooted wherever you are and let your wine be alive with what pushes and pulls you. And make time to enjoy a bottle of great wine with people who make your heart sing.”
If you’re visiting The Grange of Prince Edward Estate Winery for the first time we suggest booking a tour of the vineyard, which concludes with a tasting. Hungry guests can also purchase picnic baskets stuffed with local cheese and charcuterie.
3016 Prince Edward County Rd 8, 613-476-8338
Of all the wineries in Prince Edward County, Waupoos Estates was the first to plant grapes, back in 1993. It was the region’s first vineyard to open to the public in 2001. The winery is named after the name of the small town, an ancient Ojibwa name that translates to “running rabbit”.
Kyle Baldwin started the business with founders Ed Neuser and Rita Kaimins, who are originally from Toronto. They were helped by Klaus Reif from Reif Estates, a winery in Niagara on the Lake.
Waupoos Estates is located on a scenic 100 acre waterfront property. The idea of experimenting with grape varieties continues to this day, as the winemaking teak try to see what grows best in the area. The 20 acres of vines feature 17 unique varieties. The soil composition is heavy in limestone, which contributes a minerality composition to Waupoos wines.
Waupoos Estates’ winemaker Amy Baldwin has worked at the vineyard since 2011. She has tried lots of new styles like skin fermented white wines, appassimento style wines and fruit wines. Her favourite variety to work with is Cabernet Franc.
Waupoos Estates is one of the few wineries in Prince Edward County that offers an onsite restaurant to enjoy lunch or dinner. The chef’s Farm To Table concept utilizes products from a nearby farm, where they raise cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry and rabbits. There is a four acre vegetable and herb garden supplying the restaurant with the freshest ingredients during the warmer months of the year.
Baldwin added, “What cannot be used at the time may be sold at the Cider and Market store or turned into preserves. We also have a small stone fruit orchard that grows peaches and plums, 30 acre of apple trees and a sugar bush for maple syrup.”
Researching wineries in Prince Edward County that offer educational and interactive tours? During the high season Waupoos Estates Winery offers tours at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The tour is approximately 40 minutes and costs $20 per person. The walking tour showcases the vineyards, production area and teaches visitors about wine is made. The tour concludes with a wine and cheese pairing: three Waupoos wines paired and three local cheeses.
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