Over 20 years ago daring entrepreneurs started planting grape vines in the limestone substrate of Prince Edward County. Now, the County is a designated Viticultural Area in Ontario! With over 40 Prince Edward County wineries, it’s the perfect destination to reap the rewards on a wine tour.
Unlike the warm environment that helps wineries in Niagara, it’s a much cooler climate in Prince Edward County. Surrounded by Lake Ontario, the island region is approximately 5 degrees cooler than its popular cousin to the south.
With a cooler climate comes changes in practices. Like, did you known that most wineries in Prince Edward County bury their vines every winter? Plus, many use innovative sustainable practices that have boosted its status to one of the most desired wine destinations in Canada.
Vineyards across the region realized they need to plant cold-tolerant grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Other popular varieties include Pinot Gris and Cab Franc.
Prince Edward County is best known for their sparkling wine! But you’ll find a wide range at the various vineyards.
Thanks to the sheer volume of wineries in The County, it can be daunting to decide which are the best to visit. So, we’ve compiled a list of the best Prince Edward County wineries to help you pick! You’ll find everything from famous ones like Sandbanks Winery to dreamy vegan wineries like Karlo Estates Winery.
Along with all the top places to enjoy Prince Edward County wine, we’ve rounded up some great tips. Below you’ll discover tips on places to stay, how to get around, and the best time to visit!
So, start planning your wine adventure today!
Best Prince Edward County Wineries
Karlo Estates Winery
One of the wineries in Prince Edward County that stands out for a number of reasons is Karlo Estates. The number one reason is that the are the first certified vegan winery in the world!
Interesting fact: Many people think wine is vegan because it’s made from grapes. However, its common practice to use animal-based proteins during the winemaking process.
Along with certified vegan status, their incredible space makes them one of the most unique wineries in Ontario! Set in a remastered 1805 dairy barn, their bottle shop and main floor bar offer a cozy country vibe.
Enter stage right and you’ll be transported to a sexy speakeasy that oozes Gatsby vibes. The Speakeasy Wine Lounge features centuries old beams, a chic bar, and plush red Victorian couches. I could have hung out here forever! And turns out, it’s a popular hangout for locals, especially in the winter months.
Karlo Estates Winery uses ‘old world’ methods to craft their artisanal wines. One of the most famous is their Sextus wine. Rarely made since the late 1800s, wine critics call it the ‘unicorn’ of wine. Sextus wine blends all six Bordeaux original varieties, including Merlot, Malbec, Carménère.
The Speakeasy is a dreamy spot to indulge in a tasting of their award-winning wines. My favourite was their Little Bug White wine, with its refreshing citrus notes. The wine is named after their adorable cat you’ll see wandering the property.
Along with general tastings and tours, they offer a unique Gold Medal Tasting. This memorable experience includes a tour of the estate by Sherry Karlo or Saxe. You’ll also enjoy a sampling of 9 wines paired with a plant-based charcuterie board.
Another interesting feature of the estate is an old bridge, which is one of the largest dry-stone bridges in North America.
Karlo Estates Winery Information
Address: 561 Danforth Rd, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
Hours: Monday to Thursday 12pm – 9pm, Friday & Saturday 12pm – 9pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm
Phone: (613) 399-3000
Closson Chase Winery
Home to some of the oldest vines in The County, Closson Chase Winery was one of the first wineries in Prince Edward County.
With over 30 acres of vineyards, they starting planting in the late 1990s. Set in the idyllic countryside of Hillier, Closson Chase is another winery that’s committed to sustainability.
The Estate uses a variety of sustainable practices that include covering crop planting and rainwater collection. In 2007 they built their environmentally sustainable winemaking facility. The facility is home to their barrel cellar and uses geothermal technology, passive solar lighting, and a gravity-flow system.
Like Karlo Estates, Closson Chase is also vegan certified. And this year, in 2023, they were certified by Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario.
Beyond the sustainability, Closson makes fantastic wines! Best known for their award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, its no surprise I fell in love with their 2021 Chardonnay that’s a blend of two of their vineyards, South Clos and Church side.
Closson Chase really captures the creative vibe of The County by showcasing local artists works. Plus, the whole space is a work of art!
The main tasting room is located in a century old dairy barn that’s painted the perfect purple hue! On the side of the barn that exits out onto their spacious garden with covered sails is a stunning stained-glass piece.
Guests have the option of enjoying their wine tasting in the barn or in the garden that overlooks the south vineyard. Plus, next to the barn is a seasonal eatery, Bantam. They offer a farm fresh menu of international cuisine.
Fun Fact: Closson’s Churchside vineyard is located across the road from the main property. It’s home to a stunning historic Hillier church that was originally built in 1840. The church has gone through plenty of changes, including a move to its current location.
Closson Chase Winery Information
Address: 629 Closson Rd, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11am – 5pm, Friday & Saturday 11am – 6pm
Phone: (613) 399-1418
The Grange Winery
A wonderful place to visit to enjoy Prince Edward County wine is at The Grange Winery in Hillier!
Visitors will catch a glimpse of a slice of The Grange’s 60-acre vineyard lines the driveway as you approach the winery. After exiting your vehicle you’ll find yourself surrounded by more vines and a towering heritage barn.
Built in 1826, the barn has been stunningly renovated to accent all the warmth and charm of The County. Inside you’ll find the Grange tasting room, bottle shop and barrel cellar.
The Grange is named after the originally family who owned it. Their legacy can be found throughout the property, like on the 30-foot-tall stone fireplace in the barn. If you look closely, see if you can spot a heart-shaped stone. It was found by the Granger family’s daughter and placed within the hearth.
Fun Fact: The Granger family’s daughter now owns Old Salt Cocktails, a mobile cocktail bar in The County!
Plantings began in 2001 at The Grange. Now, over 20 years later they are best known for Burgundian wine varieties. And during my visit I enjoyed a tasting with the new head winemaker, Jonas Newman. Many will know him as the owner of Hinterland Wine Company.
Two of my favourite wines at The Grange are the County Chardonnay and the Lafontaine du Loop Rosé!
The Grange is also one of the best wineries in Prince Edward County with restaurants! The culinary team, Chef Keirra and Chef Matt, create mouth-watering fresh locally sourced dishes.
In addition to hosting various events throughout the year, the property is home to walking trails that offer an ideal stroll after a tasting.
I also loved their bottle shop that features a range of locally made items. Many of the items are perfect for creating tasty charcuterie boards. There’s everything from cheese to crackers!
The Grange Winery Information
Address: 990 Closson Rd, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 11am – 5pm, Thursday to Saturday 11am – 8pm & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Phone: (613) 399-1048
Huff Estates Winery
One of the most popular and largest wineries in PEC is Huff Estates Winery. Located in Bloomfield, the sprawling estate offers up one of the most unique places to drink in Prince Edward County!
Huff Estate is home to the vineyards and tasting room. In addition, there’s an onsite art gallery, Oeno, that also includes a fanciful outdoor exhibit.
With a perfect location, Huff Estate is a great place to start your tour of Prince Edward County wine makers. They produce high-quality vintages and offer a variety of different wine tasting options.
Visitors can choose a traditional tasting. There are no reservations required and you can enjoy it in the tasting room or on the patio that overlooks the vineyard. Another option is their Experience Tasting. This selection brings guest on a short tour of the facility and closes with a guided tasting.
For those looking for a premium experience, book a Barrel Cellar Tasting. This includes a full tour of the facility as well as a guided tasting in the Barrel Cellar. In addition to a flight of three different wines and cheese pairings, guests have the opportunity to try a sample from a barrel.
On top of all the fabulous wine, Huff Estates Winery serves delectable wood-fired pizza! Enjoy your pizza on the covered patio that overlooks the vineyard. Plus, if you’re visiting on a Sunday in the summer, you’ll get to enjoy live music.
Huff Estates is also one of the very few Prince Edward County wineries with accommodation. Right beside the vineyard is a luxury inn. Every room is full of style and features a patio.
Insider Tip: Book your wine tasting with sommelier, Brian Hanna, for a truly unforgettable experience. His knowledge and wit make for a fun and exciting way to learn about Huff Estate wines.
Huff Estates Winery Information
Address: 2274 Prince Edward County Rd 1, Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0
Hours: Sunday to Saturday 10am – 6pm
Phone: (613) 393-1414
Rosehall Run Winery
In the picturesque rolling countryside of Hillier is one of the earliest wineries in Prince Edward County, Rosehall Run.
Dan and Lynn Sullivan and partners, established Rosehall Run Winery in 2000. The next year they started planting the vineyard on the 150-acre farm. With a clay soil and calcareous limestone base, of which The County is known for, they started with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They have some of the oldest Pinot vines in the area.
Today, Rosehall Run is home to 25 acres of vinifera (vines), that also include Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat and Tempranillo. Grape farming is not easy but they are committed to practicing sustainable farming using organic pest prevention.
Walking up you’ll find an adorable barn, with barn quilt. Next to it is a scenic patio with orange umbrellas, old wine barrels for décor, and views of the vines. They’ve also added an old truck painted with their Pixie sparkling rose brand, which makes for a fun photo-op.
Inside the barn you’ll find a colourful shop and modern tasting room. On one wall is a brilliant mural by a local artist. Along with shelves lined with their various wines, they stock a number of different local Prince Edward County brands like Cressy Mustard and The County Candle.
With a background in music, it’s no surprise these creatives lend quirky names to many of their wines. There are bottles labeled Weirdo, Loveless, and Indigo. A new one is Chardonnay Musqué. Many feature exciting and colourful branding too!
Choose from a flight or glass of their award-wining wines in their new bottle shop or on the patio. Guests have the option to add a locally-sourced charcuterie box to their wine sampling too.
Insider Tip: Try their Sauvignon Blanc, which is set in French Acacia barrels, not oak, for a uniquely light smoky and floral tone.
Rosehall Run Winery Information
Address: 1243 Greer Rd, Prince Edward, ON K0K 3L0
Hours: Open daily 11am – 5pm
Phone: (613) 399-1183
On a stretch of property overlooking the waters of Lake Ontario is where you’ll find Keint-He Winery. With 26 acres of vines across four distinct vineyards, this awesome winery in Wellington is home to one of the oldest Pinot vineyards in Prince Edward County.
Each of their four vineyards offers a different set of characteristics to bolster incredible wine. Their Little Creek vineyard is home to The County’s second oldest vines that were planted in 1997.
Keint-He concentrates on varietals that are grown in Burgundy, France. Best known for their Pinot Noirs, I highly recommend trying their Portage Pinot Noir.
The bottle shop is filled with shelves of their award-winning wines and a fridge full of local eats. On the walls are a number of paintings by Francis Ann Hopkins, a British painter known for capturing Canadian landscapes.
Just below the shop sits the barrel cellars. Thanks to their location underground, they use geothermal energy to help keep the barrel cellars at a consistent cool temperature. It was here that I laid eyes on the largest wine barrels I’ve ever seen! Standing tall among their fermentation tanks, these barrels had to be twice my height.
Enjoy a flight of four different wines in their tasting room or outside on the hillside that overlooks the vineyard and lake. The lively staff are so helpful and will help you choose which varieties to add to your tasting.
Be sure to check their Instagram for upcoming events. Along with live music, they host a Friday night market where you can browse and shop local vendors.
What’s in a name? The winery is named after one of the Iroquoian villages that called the area home. Keinté became franocized as Quinte and used in names like the Bay of Quinte.
Insider Tip: Looking for places to eat nearby? Check out these Wellington restaurants!
Keint-He Winery Information
Address: 49 Hubbs Creek Rd, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11am – 5pm, Friday & Saturday 11am – 8pm
Phone: (613) 399-5308
One of the most popular Prince Edward County wineries is Sandbanks! Named after another popular attraction, Sandbanks Provincial Park, this sprawling estate covers over 6 acres.
Set along the scenic shoreline of Lake Ontario, Sandbanks Winery is home to a number of different wine tasting experiences. Many of their wines are sold in the LCBO. But there’s plenty of reasons to visit in person, one of which is that you’ll find numerous wines that are exclusively sold at the winery.
Sandbanks Winery is known for their hybrid varietals including Baco Noir. But they have nearly 30 different wines to choose from, so I recommend trying a variety.
The winery offers a number of unique wine tasting experiences. Walk-ins are welcome to saddle up to the bar to sample a flight of 5 wines. Another option is their ‘Seated Food & Wine Tasting Experience’ that includes a guided tasting under their new pergolas, paired with tasty bites, and views of the vineyard.
For guests who want to learn more about the winery, its history, book a Sandbanks Tour. This one-hour guided tour includes a walk through the facilities and a wine tasting.
Whether you’re visiting to enjoy a flight or a glass, I recommend trying their new best seller, Piquette. It’s so refreshing and great for summer days or in the winter when you want to remember those warm summer afternoons.
Another one of my favourite wines at Sandbanks Winery is their Summer Apple Wine! Made from a blend of Ontario apples and Sandbanks Summer White wine, it has a tart apple taste with perfect pops of tiny bubbles.
Sandbanks is a dog-friendly winery that even has a dog park and wine bottle-inspired dog toys. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine in their huge picnic area that’s full of colourful Muskoka chairs.
Sandbanks Winery Information
Address: 17598 Loyalist Pkwy, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
Hours: Open daily 11am – 6pm
Phone: (613) 399-1839
Tips for Planning a Prince Edward County Wine Tour
There are a number of things that arise when planning a visit to Prince Edward County wineries. I’ve rounded up all the best tips to help you plan the perfect PEC trip! You’ll discover the best place to stay, the best wine tours, when to go, and more!
Where to Stay
The best place to stay for a wine tour of The County is in Belleville! This may surprise you, but Belleville offers a wide range of accommodations and at budget-friendly price points.
Staying in Prince Edward County can be expensive. This is because many of the places to stay are short-term accommodations, which are often pricier depending on the season. Staying in Belleville, or other places in the Bay of Quinte, ensures that you can plan a visit without breaking the bank throughout the year.
During my Prince Edward County wine tour, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Belleville. The hotel features a complementary hot breakfast, great coffee at any time, an indoor pool, and incredibly comfortable rooms.
Book a Wine Tour
There are a number of different companies in PEC offering public or private tours. One of the best wine tours in Prince Edward County is PEC Wine Tours!
This wine tour company runs tours throughout the year. Included in their pricing is the transportation and wine tastings. It’s the best way to enjoy yourself while they chauffeur you around to each stop. Plus, their drivers offer a wealth of local knowledge about the area and the wineries.
Visit Wineries with Restaurants
Another important tip is to eat! There are a number of awesome wineries in PEC with restaurants like Huff Estates and The Grange. Enjoy wood-fired pizza on the patio at Huff Estates or an local-inspired menu at The Grange.
In addition to restaurants, many wineries offer charcuterie boards and other food pairing to add to your wine tasting. These are a great way to elevate your tasting experience. It’s a great way to learn how wine accentuates food.
Or if you’re planning to eat before you do an afternoon wine tasting in Prince Edward County, then check out one of the awesome restaurants in Picton.
When to Visit
Any time is a great time to visit The County! However, depending on the experience you’re looking for will dictate the best time to visit.
If you’re looking for wine tasting on the patio and enjoying the best Price Edward County things to do, like cycling and visiting the beach, the summer is the best time.
But if you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe and fewer crowds, then fall is the best time to visit! Plus, it’s harvest season! It’s a fun time to see the wineries in action, picking grapes and starting the wine making process.
More Great Wineries in Prince Edward County to Visit
TerraCello Winery – For one of the most European wineries in PEC head over to TerraCello Winery. This hidden gem in The County feels like a slice of Italy in Ontario! At TerraCello you’ll find a vine-draped patio with views of the vines and a charming renovated barn. Be sure to order one of Tony’s famous fresh Italian pizzas to pair with your wine.
Three Dog Winery – One of the best Picton wineries is Three Dog Winery! Named after the original owner’s three dogs, the winery is home to 10 acres of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Baco Noir, and Pinot Gris. Along with a variety of different tasting options, indoor or out on the patio, they serve food. You can add cheese plates, charcuterie boards, or take advantage of their seasonal Pizza kitchen.
Hinterland Wine Company – Another one of the best Prince Edward County wineries is Hinterland Wine! Known for their premium sparkling wine, they offer a variety of different tastings. There’s everything from traditional wine tastings to ones geared for Prosecco lovers. The one that speaks to me the most is their Pretty in Pink tasting.
Waupoos Estates Winery – The oldest winery in Prince Edward County is Waupoos Estates, with plantings in 1993. Visit their 100-acre waterfront estate to enjoy their award-winning wines. Along with traditional tastings, Waupoos Estates Winery runs tours and cellar tastings. The stunning property is home to gardens, a chocolate shop, and a restaurant.
With a wealth of Prince Edward County wineries, it’s the perfect destination in Ontario to travel to reap the rewards of the harvest. I highly recommend you visit a variety of wineries. Each is so unique and has something special to offer. Plan a getaway to one of the best wine regions in Canada. It will leave you with barrels full of memories.
Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Bay of Quinte Tourism. While I was paid for my time, all opinions are my own.
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