Once called the “Garden Capital of Canada,” Prince Edward County has been a thriving community rooted in agriculture since the Barley Days of the late 1800s. Today it’s a rural hotspot for food and drink where locally sourced is a way of life.
With over 40 wineries, a growing craft-beer scene, cider, mead and spirits, your thirst will easily be quenched. For those looking to sample The County’s booze-less bounty enjoy top notch coffee at a cute cafe or epic milkshake at an ice cream parlour so famous for its fresh flavours your bound to head home with a smug mug.
7 Must-Try Sips in Prince Edward County
Growing apples and producing new world ciders, The County Cider Company offers a distinctive taste of Prince Edward County in the tradition of fine British cider makers. County cider has a large orchard of European bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples which are hand-grafted. The restored limestone tasting room and outdoor restaurant patio are surrounded by orchards and vineyards overlooking Waupoos Island and Prince Edward Bay. Enjoy a sip of their classic apple or enjoy a splash of pear, blood orange or peach.
County Road Beer Company
Cofounded by the Hinterland Wine Company (and located right next door to their tasting room), County Road Beer produces some of the best premium craft beer in Prince Edward County. Plan your visit over the lunch or dinner hour and you can plop yourself down on a picnic table at the breweries open air Beer Garden. We enjoyed a sud-sloshed lunch where fresh Farmhouse Saison and bitter Blonde Ale paired perfectly with sweet tomato soup and spicy grilled chorizo on ciabatta.
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66 Gilead Distillery
66 Gilead Distillery handcrafts its spirits by producing them entirely on site in small batches using a custom copper still. Located on a beautiful 80 acre farm in the historic Cooper-Norton House, spirit fans can enjoy an onsite tasting of 66 Gilead’s creative concoctions such as Wild Oak Whisky, Duck Island Rum, Canadian Pine Vodka and the signature Sixty-Six Loyalist Gin. If keen on enjoying your spirits muddled together as a creative cocktail visit the Drake Devonshire Inn’s bar and you’ll be greeted by mixologists who celebrate fresh flavours with a bottle or two of Gilead Distillery’s finest.
Norman Hardie Winery
Norman Hardie’s wines are grown and vinified in small lots drawing on his harvesting experience in Burgundy, South Africa, Oregon, New Zealand and California. The purity of flavour and textures in his wines tell a story of Prince Edward County’s unique Taste of Place. Right from his inaugural vintage, Norm’s wines have received international acclaim and can be found in top restaurants from Toronto to Tokyo. Be sure to plan your trip around the pizzeria’s opening hours as they’ve perfected the perfectly scorched slice which pairs beautifully with a splash or two of vino with a jaw dropping view.
Honey Pie Hives & Herbals
Husband and wife team Bay Woodyard and Gavin North founded Honey Pie Hives & Herbals in 2000. The duo keep bees and grow herbs on their farm located along the rural backgrounds of Prince Edward County. Buzz around their wee shop and you’ll find a parade of bee products including sweet smelling soap, fresh honeycomb, wax candles, luxurious lotions, endless jars of honey and slender bottles of mead. Long ago the drink of Kings and Queens, Mead is a traditional wine made from honey. Sip through their various bottles and you’ll enjoy the smell of honeycomb, ginseng, palmetto berries, lemon balm and goat weed.
The Vic Cafe
The picturesque historic Main Street of the lively town of Picton provides an ideal host for Prince Edward County’s freshest little cafe. Situated at the majestic Regent Theatre, owners Rick and Sonya Szabo built The Vic Cafe on excellence in coffee, honesty in food and European cafe-inspired decor. It may just be the perfect spot to enjoy a light breakfast in The County. Wake up to the world with a frothy latte and petite macaron.
Slickers is an ice cream lovers dream. Owners Peter Pesic and Anne Kitzler create all natural artisan ice cream, made fresh daily in small batches by hand. The popular parlour is famous for its choir of innovative flavours but our two favourites include Apple Pie (loaded with chunks of fresh homemade apple pie, pastry and all) and Campfire (whipped lovingly with roasted marshmallows). Quench your thirst on cool cream by selecting any of the parlour’s fresh flavours and ordering it as a milkshake with a cherry on top!