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. It may not be as large or as well known as Ontario’s Niagara Wine region, but Prince Edward County is a flourishing region, producing amazing wine.
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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.
The 10 Best Wineries in Prince Edward County
These are the top wineries to visit in Prince Edward County.
- Sandbanks Winery
- Waupoos Estates Winery
- Closson Chase Vineyards
- Three Dog Winery
- Karlo Estates Winery
- TerraCello Winery
- Huff Estates Winery
- Black Prince Winery
- Traynor Family Vineyard
- Casa-Dea Estates Winery
Top Prince Edward County Wineries Map
1. Sandbanks Winery
Sandbanks is our pick for the best winery in Prince Edward County.
Sandbanks Winery has created a fantastic outdoor atmosphere. There are multiple tasting bars. Enjoy a flight of their fantastic wines. Choose 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.
Visit their wine shop where you can also purchase charcuterie items. Sandbanks Winery provides cutting boards and cheese knives so enjoy your charcuterie items onsite.
Arrive at Sandbanks early on Saturdays to ensure and be part of their barrel room tastings. It’s “first come, first served” with no reservations. It is worth it to enjoy a flight of six wines and food pairings.
For hours and info, visit the Sandbanks Winery website.
2. 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.
Enjoy Waupoos’ entire 100 acre property. We strolled through the picturesque vineyard sloping gently toward Lake Ontario. At the dock, sit on the benches and enjoy your glass of wine and the view of the lake. Wedding ceremonies are often held near the dock.
Across the road from the winery is the Waupoos sister location, Clafeld Cider House. 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.
3. Closson Chase Vineyards
Watch for the iconic purple bar at Closson Chase. You can’t miss it. Walk through the beautifully renovated, century-old dairy, to the lovely garden in the back.
The outdoor setting was perfect on the sunny day we visited. We were immediately served water which was very appreciated at the end of a long day. Our flights of 3 delicious wines arrived quickly.
Closson has a tradition of excellence in Chardonnay. We made sure to include one in our tasting selection. The winery also produces exceptional Pinot Noir, since winemaker Keith Tyers joined the Closson team. We ordered two Pinots and enjoyed them immensely.
In addition to the lovely garden, Closson has a number of tasting areas. There’s seating in the barn including a stand-up tasting bar. When the weather turns cooler, visit their tasting room (cleverly named “Au Verre”), right beside the barn or take your glass and wander the grounds.
Closson also hosts “Curated Tastings”. This event takes place at the “The Ridge”, their wine storage facility, located nearby on Chase Road. Visit their website to make reservations for this special event.
For hours and more info, visit the Closson Chase Vineyards website.
4. Three Dog Winery
This winery is a bit away from the other wineries but the extra drive to Three Dog is definitely worth it!
They have a great outdoor seating area. We sat in our very own cabana. Sweet! There are Muskoka chairs as well so enjoy the sun if you wish. Our wine flight arrived on a cute serving tray with a “dog paw” handle. We enjoyed the wines, especially the Red Bacchus.
There are lots of food options available including charcuterie boards and pizza from a wood-fired oven. An additional bonus is live music on summer weekends.
The high-ceilinged retail space is equally impressive. We made sure to pick up a couple of bottles on our way out.
We highly recommend dropping into this winery. Relax in outdoor comfort with your wine and maybe Fido too! With the name “Three Dog”, this winery is dog-friendly.
For hours and more info, visit the Three Dog Winery website.
5. Karlo Estates Winery
The home of Karlo Estate Winery is one of the oldest buildings in the County. This stunning post and beam barn was built in 1805.
We enjoyed our tasting flight in the backyard. There were lots of different seating styles and arrangements.
We really enjoyed their Malbec but the highlight of our tasting, was the Van Alstine Red. This is a ruby port-style wine, best paired with a dark chocolate dessert. After sampling this rich tasting, fortified wine, we immediately added it to our purchase list.
Karlo states that they produced the first wine certified as vegan in the world. Similarly, their entire food menu is vegan, including plant-based cheese.
If you have time, be sure to walk the property, enjoying a glass of wine. The dry-stone bridge is the perfect setting for photographs.
Wine tastings are usually conducted by reservation only. There are several tasting areas inside the barn, including the lounge. Even though this speakeasy Wine Lounge was closed at the time of our visit, one of the staff members was kind enough to give us a peek. What a great hangout! I can imagine coming back during the cooler months, lounging on one those cozy, velvet couches beside the old wood bar, and sipping some fine Karlo wine.
The quality of Karlo wines is exceptional. It is only available for purchase at the winery but can be found in some high end restaurants. It is in high demand and not sold through the LCBO so don’t forget to purchase a couple of bottles to take home.
For hours and more info, visit the Karlo Estates Winery website.
6. TerraCello Winery
Find TerraCello’s tasting areas and 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 cannelloni. Locals say their pizza is the best pizza on the island, thanks to their Tuscan-style wood oven. In the evening, enjoy the fire pit or maybe play bocce on the bocce court.
For hours and more info, visit the TerraCello website.
7. 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 is another reason to visit Huff Estates.
For hours and more info, visit the Huff Estates website.
8. Black Prince Winery
Black Prince Winery is one of the oldest wineries in the County. The winery is easy to find, located just outside of Picton, on the Loyalist Parkway.
We enjoyed our wine tasting on the back deck patio. It felt like a friend’s back porch. I really liked Black Prince’s Reisling and Pinot Gris. Our server took the time to be very thorough explaining all the Black Prince wines and their use of traditional oak barrels for aging their wines.
Black Prince is also the home of Canadian Vinegar Cellars. They make gourmet vinegars produced from wine and aged in oak barrels. In addition to wine tasting, sample any number of their fruit and balsamic vinegars. We didn’t sample any, but the crowd consensus seemed to be with the peach vinegar.
At the gift shop inside the converted house, jams and spreads are available as well as the wines and vinegars for purchase.
Also on the property is a restored barn. This is where the wood fired pizza oven is located. Try one their pizzas, whose crust is made with their artisan vinegar. The 12-inch Amatriciana was yummy! Enjoy wine and pizza on the picnic tables near the vineyard.
For hours and more info, visit the Black Prince Winery website.
9. Traynor Family Vineyard
Mike Traynor purchased this small property in 2008 and became Canada’s youngest winemaker at the age of 22.
We enjoyed our tasting flight on their beautiful outdoor patio. All of the wines we tried were great, especially their Sauvignon Blanc.
Traynor is very proud of their Sauvignon Blanc. The grape is not planted in abundance in the County, and as such, Traynor has one of the largest crops of this grape. They intentionally harvest the sauv blanc grape earlier than most, resulting in a better tasting wine with more acidity.
Many visitors come to Traynor’s for their Pet-Nat wines. Pet-Nat is the abbreviation for “pétillant naturel”, or any natural sparkling wine. Typically the wine is bottled towards the end of fermentation with no additional additives. The fermentation process then finishes in the bottle, resulting in a bubbly wine. Traynor was one of the first wineries in The County to produce Pet-Nat wines.
For hours and more info, visit the Traynor Family Vineyard website.
10. 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.
Play some bocce ball and be sure to check out the huge chess board and pieces. Grab photos posing with the large ‘LOVE’ sign in the open field to remember your visit to Prince Edward County’s wineries.
For hours and more info, visit the Casa-Dea website.
Complete List of Wineries in Prince Edward County
In addition to our Top 10 Best Wineries, drop into any of these great wineries during a visit to Prince Edward County.
Prince Edward County Wine Tours
It is easy to visit the best PEC wineries on your own self-guided tour. However, for those interested in an organized tour, there are several great tour operators who offer winery tours in The County.
- 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 create a self-guided tour.
- Tina’s Wine Tours
is a family-run business that provides private tours for groups of 2 or more.
- Cronkie’s Tours Plus
has a fleet of passenger vans to get you around the County.
Prince Edward County Bike Wine Tours
A Bike Wine tour is one of the most pleasant ways to spend a day visiting PEC wineries.
Closson Road Cycles offer a nice half-day cycling tour, visiting 4 wineries over a 20 km route.
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.
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.
Check their individual websites for specific operating hours.
Prince Edward County – Things To Do
The County is well known for its wineries, but there is so much more to see and do in Prince Edward County. Relax on some of the best sand beaches in Ontario. Enjoy the a local draft at one of the many fine breweries in Prince Edward County.
Be sure to check out our article, Best Things To Do in Prince Edward County. We provide the perfect guide in planning that summer getaway trip.
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