There is nothing like spending a Saturday touring wineries with your besties to brighten your mood. I just got back from a girls weekend in Prince Edward County (PEC) and had the best time sampling wines, taking pictures in front of barns and enjoy some country air.
We hit up a lot of wineries in one day- I’m not going to lie, we got a tad tipsy by the end. Good news though, I got to visit a ton of wineries and pick my favourites to share!
Prince Edward County
The county is about 2 hours east of Toronto along highway 401 which makes it a great weekend getaway from the city. It’s grown in popularity over the past ten years and is now a common getaway for Torontonians wanting to taste some wine and visit Sandbanks Provincial Park. You’ll want to book ahead for accommodations and restaurants so you aren’t disappointed.
There are about 40 wineries in PEC so you’ll need to get an early start! Ok, so it’s probably not possible to visit all of them in one weekend but I’ll leave that decision up to you!
The majority of the wineries are located closest to the city of Wellington so that’s a great place to make your home base if you want to minimize your driving time between stops. There are a bunch of wine tours you can find as well that do the driving for you. This post though will focus on my favourite wineries we stopped at along the way and what I liked and disliked.
What a cute name for a winery! Sugarbush was our second stop on our tour and one of my favourites. This is a small family owned winery that also makes maple syrup, so make sure you stock up! Here’s what I liked and disliked:
- Loved the set up of the winery- they had a separate tasting area for tour groups which meant you didn’t have to wait hours on end to do a tasting.
- The Gewurztraminer was outstanding- I highly recommend trying this when you are tasting.
- The employee who greeted us was so welcoming and truly seemed to love her job. She was also very knowledgeable about the wines. This made a huge difference to our tasting experience.
Nothing really- this was one of my favourites!
Closson Chase Vineyards
This winery is well known for it’s Chardonnay’s but I love it for the purple barn! The winery has been around for many years and now has a “swinery” on the property where you can get pork sandwiches etc for lunch.
- The Rose and Chardonnay here were extraordinary and I ended up buying two bottles. The staff we had looking after us were very knowledgeable and patient with us!
- The space is fantastic, with seats to enjoy a glass of wine inside or out. They also have a separate purchasing area which really helps move traffic around the winery.
- It’s quite busy here and popular so expect a crowd.
- Tastings here are expensive and they don’t waive the fee unless you buy three bottles.
The Old Third vineyard and winery
Instagram fans will think they’ve died and gone to heaven in this winery. Their massive barn is used for events and is incredibly beautiful. Don’t miss the upstairs that has couches and some amazing views. I could have stayed in this barn for days (with access to the wine, of course).
- The barn is so beautifully set up and makes you want to spend hours sipping wine
- Unique wines to try- Sparkling Pinot Noir, traditional method sparkling cider .
- Not really a dislike, more of an fyi, the tasting prices are a bit high- eg. $7 to taste the sparkling Pinot was a bit high. That being said, these are specialty wines with limited production so you will pay more for bottles.
This is one of the oldest and largest wine producers in Prince Edward County and makes some of my favorite wines. Sandbanks is located just off the highway on the way into Wellington so it’s a great stop to pick up some “house wine”.
- The tasting menu is exstensive and you get 5 tastings for $7 that is waived if you buy two bottles. This is one of the more generous tasting offers you’ll see in the county.
- They make some great wines that are reasonably priced. My favourite is their cassis aprevito, Love. So unique and lovely to sip on a hot summer evening.
- The staff were super friends and helpful and you didn’t feel rushed.
- It’s a bigger winery so it will be busier and you may need to wait for tastings.
Just the drive up to the Grange winery will put you in a more relaxed state of mind. As you drive up to the barn, you’ll be met by resident chickens pecking at the grass. The grounds are gorgeous and the winery does picnic baskets to sit on the lawn. Perfection on a nice day.
- Gorgeous interior with a large tasting area that doesn’t make you feel you need to rush through your tasting to make room for others
- They have a popcorn machine! Enough said.
None of the wines really stood out for me here. Wine is a personal taste so you may have a different experience.
This winery is situated in Waupoos which is about a 20 minute drive from the wineries in the Wellington area. It’s a wonderful property set up with a restaurant and a scenic walk down to the water. Ideally, you are sipping a glass of wine as you stroll!
We were here on a beautiful sunny day and I would recommend trying to visit on a sunny day so you can experience the grounds.
- Lots of different wines to try here- many blends. I loved the red rabbit which is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet
- Reasonably priced wines compared to other wineries we visited
- Great gift shop so you can browse for gifts/souvenirs around after tasting wine
- I wasn’t a fan of some of their white wines. The limestone from the lake does add a strong nose to some of the wines and it’s hard to ignore.
County Cider Company
This was our last stop on the three day wine tour extravaganza. We decided to end with a trip to the County Cider Company. This was a place I had visited the year before and fell in love with their unique ciders. If you come for a visit, I recommend trying the tasting flight that allows you to taste all their different ciders from dry to sweet.
- I’ll be honest, I’m a little obsessed with their peach cider. It’s so sweet and unique and worth a try. I’ll be pairing it with orange juice this summer!
- The tastings are $10 for a flight of all their ciders. I would recommend sharing one between two people. It’s fantastic to try them all!
- There is a lovely restaurant across the street to enjoy lunch
Nothing, I’m obsessed with this place. ☺️
Regardless of what wineries you choose, you will have a great time exploring this area and finding those hidden gems that you love. I highly recommend this place for a weekend getaway to enjoy some great tasting wine, good food and experience some country living.
Do you have a favorite wine region? Let me know!