Enjoy the Bounty of Prince Edward County Wine Country

“Wine is sunlight held together by water.” Galileo Galilei

When you think of wine, does Canada and specifically the province of Ontario come to mind? Well, it should. Amongst the several wine regions in Ontario, the Prince Edward County Wine country, locally known as “The County,” is considered one of the fastest-growing wine destinations.

Location, Location!

This hidden treasure of a wine region is located along the east end of Lake Ontario and is surrounded on the north and east by the Bay of Quinte. It is home to close to 40 wineries with more opening each year. It is also home to craft beer, ciders and spirits. It is well known for the famous Sandbanks beach and very popular with foodies.

The limestone-rich soil, well-drained clay loam and moderating air temperature due to its proximity to the water, create the perfect environment for the hand-crafted award-winning wines developed here. It has been likened to the terroir of Burgundy.

Prince Edward County Wine Country was officially identified as a VQA appellation in 2007. Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) is a regulatory system that guarantees the high quality and authenticity of origin for Canadian wines in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. It is similar to those in Italy(DOC) and France(AOC), to name a few. 

Well known for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the region has recently been recognized for its introduction of Malbec. 

Prince Edward County is a perfect destination for a day trip or a short getaway. Bed and Breakfasts, short-term rentals, motels and hotels as well as an abundance of farm-to-table restaurants abound.

The region is only a one-hour drive from Kingston, a two-hour drive from Toronto, a three-hour drive from Ottawa and a four-hour drive from Montreal. 

Let’s Talk About Wine in Prince Edward County Wine Country

With so many wonderful wineries to choose from, here is a list of some of our favourite wineries in Prince Edward County Wine Country. 

Karlo Estates 

This award-winning winery is the world’s first to be certified vegan. Their tasting room is a renovated 1805 barn, and the property has North America’s largest dry-stone bridge. Their fortified white called VanAlstine White is a crowd-pleaser on its own or with dessert.
Visit Karlo Estates 

Sandbanks Winery

This is one of the area’s oldest wineries. Free daily guided vineyard tours are available. A highlight is buying local cheeses, charcuteries and treats from their fridge along with a glass of wine to enjoy in the vineyard picnic area. A glass or a bottle of Sleeping Giant with its flavours of coffee and raspberry is sure to please.
Visit Sandbanks Winery

Karlo Estates Bridge in Prince Edward County Wine Country© Lori Sweet
Karlo Estates Bridge in Prince Edward County Wine Country© Lori Sweet

Terra Estate Winery

One of the newer wineries in The County, this wineries’ main stable of wines are named after the grape rather than a creative name. A favourite is Terra Viognier, a lovely white with floral notes and stone fruit on the palate.
Visit Terra Estate Winery

Harwood Estate Winery

Three vineyards surround this unique wineries’ tasting room. You could consider this a vineyard and winery tour all at once. It is also a completely solar-powered winery. A taste of their North Beach Mermaid Sparkling Rosé 2018 brings back thoughts of summer.
Visit Harwood Estate Winery


By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery

This winery in Prince Edward County Wine Country has such a unique name that it must have a back story, and it does. Their tasting room is housed in a historic apple house from the 1850s. One of the original county wineries, it was named after an early settler, Ira Chadsey. He built stone cairns at the back of the farm to help guide him home in the afterlife as a white horse. Sit on the back porch here and enjoy a glass of their crisp white blend, White Horse 2016, named after Ira.
Visit By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery


Winery in Prince Edward County Wine Country in Canada
Winery grapes in Prince Edward County Wine Country

Casa Dea Estates Winery

This winery in Prince Edward County Wine Country currently has the largest planting of Vinifera grapes in The County with 65 acres under vine. The Italian name of the winery translates to “Home of the Goddess”, a tribute to the founder’s wife. They produce several wines, including different sparkling wines and a wine using the appassimento method named Adamo.
Visit Casa Dea Estates Winery

Grange of Prince Edward County

The mother/daughter team produces wines made from 7 varieties of grapes all grown on the estate. The tasting room is in a historic barn where you can also stop to pick up your preordered picnic lunch to eat on the grounds. Their Gamay Noir has been known to grace a table or two for a holiday meal.
Visit Grange of Prince Edward County

Stanners Vineyard

This unique winery in Prince Edward County Wine Country specializes in Pinot Noir. This unpretentious winery houses its tasting bar in its barrel room. The barrel room was built using eco-friendly straw bales construction. They have a porthole built into the wall to show the structure of this temperature-equalizing method of construction. Try their Chardonnay for hints of ripe apple, honey and lemon.
Visit Stanners Vineyard

Winery in Prince Edward County Wine Country

Huff Estates Winery

This winery stands out from the rest of the county wineries because of its modern, sleek state-of-the-art-facility, reminiscent of what you find in wineries of the more well-known Niagara region. There is an onsite art gallery, Inn and even a helipad. A glass of ruby red Merlot at the onsite indoor/outdoor restaurant is a treat.
Visit Huff Estates Winery

Three Dog Winery

Located on the eastern edge of The County, this unique winery is home to a yoga studio, an Airbnb loft apartment and is a hub of social activities. Its name comes from the founding couples three rescue golden retrievers. Wines named Dog House Red and Dog House White are favourites.
Visit Three Dog Winery

Three-Dog-Winery in Prince Edward County Wine Country-©-Lori-Sweet

More Than Wine In Prince Edward County Wine Country

Even if you are not a wine drinker, there is so much to do in Prince Edward County. The area is made up of three main towns: Picton(the largest), Bloomfield and Wellington.

Main Street in all three places has an abundance of unique shops to choose from as well as locally-owned restaurants. There are a few chain businesses in Picton, but you would be hard-pressed to find any chain restaurants or stores in the other two towns.

Knowing you can’t take it all in, you can decide to spend the night or join in one of the many day tours and let someone else do the driving. Come and enjoy the “Bounty of the County”! 

For more information visit https://www.visitpec.ca

This article was originally published in Food, Wine, Travel Magazine-Hidden Treasures Issue