With an abundance of top wineries, Prince Edward County is a great destination for those escaping the big city. A wine tasting tour of “the County” is a perfect way to spend a relaxing summer weekend.
The Prince Edward County wine region has expanded rapidly since the first winery was established in 2000. Today, there are more than 30 wineries in the County. Although not as large or as well known as Ontario’s Niagara Wine region, it is flourishing and producing amazing wine.
Prince Edward County Wines
Prince Edward County, informally called PEC, is on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The lake helps moderate temperatures in the county throughout the year. In addition, the calcium of the local limestone creates good soil conditions. Together these conditions create an ideal grape growing environment.
The region is best known for its Pinot Noir wines. Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes grow well everywhere in Prince Edward County. Growers harvest the Cabernet Franc grape further inland. Vineyards continue to plant more grape varieties, as the region continues to produce more wine selections.
Prince Edward County’s success lead to its designation as Ontario’s 3rd appellation region in 2007 by The Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) of Ontario.
5 Best Wineries in Prince Edward County
Here are the 5 Best Wineries to visit in Prince Edward County.
- Sandbanks Winery
- Waupoos Estates Winery
- Huff Estates Winery
- TerraCello Winery
- Casa-Dea Estates Winery
Map of the Best Wineries in Prince Edward County
Sandbanks Winery has created a fantastic outdoor atmosphere. There are multiple tasting bars. Try a flight of their best wines in the Enhanced Wine tasting experience. Once you’ve chosen your favourite, sit around a fire pit and enjoy a glass. Don’t forget to toast the beautiful area and splendid wine.
We enjoyed a glass of Sandbanks’ Baco Noir Reserve. It was so relaxing sitting in a pair of Muskoka chairs and enjoying the sun’s golden hour.
When you venture inside to their wine shop you can also purchase charcuterie items. Sandbanks Winery will even give you a cutting board and knife so that you can prepare and enjoy your own charcuterie board onsite.
Arrive at Sandbanks early on Saturdays to ensure you can be part of their barrel room tastings. It’s “first come, first served” with no reservations. It is worth it as you’ll enjoy a flight of six wines and food pairings.
For hours and info, visit the Sandbanks Winery website.
Waupoos Estates Winery
This beautiful property overlooks the Lake Ontario waterfront. Waupoos Estates Winery opened in 2000, the first winery in Prince Edward County.
The main building houses a wine and candy store and an indoor tasting bar.
Since the weather was beautiful and sunny, we enjoyed a flight of both red and white wines at the outdoor tasting bar. Down the driveway from the store and outdoor tasting bar is a large gazebo restaurant. Be sure to make reservations ahead of time.
Waupoos welcomes you to enjoy their entire 100 acre property. We strolled through the picturesque vineyard sloping gently toward Lake Ontario. At the dock, you can sit on the benches and enjoy your glass of wine and the view of the lake. Wedding ceremonies are often held here.
Across the road from the winery is the Waupoos sister location, Clafeld Cider House. Here they blend their locally grown apples into a cider called ‘Smashed’. The farm even has a petting zoo for the kids.
For hours and more info, visit the Waupoos Estates website.
Huff Estates Winery
Huff Estates Winery is a nice place to spend a summer afternoon.
At the tasting bar, try a flight of Huff wines including their Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
Enjoy pizza baked fresh in their wood-fired oven. Take one of their specialties like Margarita pizza out to the outdoor patio.
After lunch, visit the Oeno Gallery, an on-site art gallery. Walk the 4-acre sculpture garden with its incredible outdoor installations. If you fall in love with a piece of art, talk to gallery staff. All artwork is available for purchase.
Live music every Sunday in the summer gives you just one more reason to visit Huff Estates.
For hours and more info, visit the Huff Estates website.
You’ll find TerraCello’s tasting areas and a barrel room in a beautifully renovated farmhouse in a quiet tranquil setting.
The owner, Tony Auciello, is always around, conducting tours and demonstrating how he carefully crafts his small batches of wine.
Relax on the patio and try their cannoli. Locals say their pizza is the best pizza on the island, thanks to their Tuscan-style wood oven. In the evening, you can enjoy the fire pit or maybe play bocce on the bocce court.
For hours and more info, visit the TerraCello website.
Casa-Dea Estates Winery
Have a glass of Casa-Dea’s signature Pinot Gris and relax on the large patio overlooking the grounds and vineyards.
La Pergola Restaurant serves pizza and pasta.
If you want to be active, play some bocce ball on the courts below. Be sure to check out the huge chess board and pieces. Grab photos posing with the large ‘LOVE’ sign in the open field to remind you how much you loved your visit to Prince Edward County’s wineries.
For hours and more info, visit the Casa-Dea website.
Top Wineries in Prince Edward County
In addition to our 5 Best Wineries above, you can drop into any of these top wineries during your trip to Prince Edward County.
Prince Edward County Wineries Map
Find all of the county’s top wineries on our wineries map.
Prince Edward County Wine Tours
It is easy to visit the PEC wineries on your own self-guided tour. However, for those interested in an organized tour, there are several tour operators who will drive and guide you around the county’s wineries.
- Prince Edward County Wine Tours
provides private and group tours in their passenger vans and ‘in style’ with their limousine service.
- Sandbanks Vacations and Tours
will create a custom tour for a group of any size.
- A County Experience
offers private tours and will also help you create a self-guided tour.
- Cronkie’s Tours Plus
has a fleet of passenger vans to help you get to and around the County.
- Tina’s Wine Tours
is a family-run business that provides private tours for groups of 2 or more.
Prince Edward County Bike Wine Tours
A Bike Wine tour is one of the most pleasant ways to spend a day visiting PEC wineries.
County Wine Tours is well known for their Sip & Cycle Tour. They take small groups on a fun tour, cycling the back roads and enjoying various wineries along the way.
Closson Road Cycles offer a nice half-day cycling tour, visiting 4 wineries over a 20 km route.
Are Prince Edward County Wineries Open in the Winter?
Yes, many of the Prince Edward County wineries remain open during the winter months, though often with reduced hours. Four of the wineries in our ‘5 Best’ have winter hours, namely Sandbanks Winery, Waupoos Estates, Huff Estates and Casa-Dea Winery.
Check their individual websites for specific operating hours.
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