11 Jul 2017

The Top 10 Large Wineries to Visit in Prince Edward County

Photo via Norman Hardie.

Some say bigger is better, right? In this case the bigger the winery the more reds, whites, and rosés there are to try! Prince Edward County has the perfect mix of wineries to visit, and while we love the homegrown charming feel of the smaller, upstart wineries, there’s a reason visitors flock to some of The County’s larger, more established spots. Many of the larger wineries in PEC have been around the longest and have a lot more than just wine tastings going on throughout the year.

If you’re looking to try out some of The County’s larger, more well-known wineries, here’s where to go:

The Grange

Set in a beautiful old stone building and barn dating from the 1800s, the Grange is as picturesque as it gets in The County. A popular venue for weddings and corporate retreats, The Grange also offers an engaging vineyard tour and is host to many special events throughout the summer, including special winemaker’s dinners. While you’re there you can try their wines, including their special Almanac blends released this summer, or pick up a charcuterie picnic basket and take it onto the grounds for lunch. Maggie Granger was also recently named one of Toronto Life’s new winemakers to watch, so you’ll want to visit while her star is on the rise.

Karlo Estates

Easy to spot as you’re making your way through The County, Karlo Estates’s big red barn isn’t all this place is famous for. They have the largest dry stone bridge in North America, they produce hockey player Doug Gilmour’s wine, and of course offer many great wine and food pairings for visitors. A must-see spot on your tour of PEC, if not just for owner Sherri Karlo’s vivacious nature (and karaoke prowess). This is easily one of our favourite places to spend an afternoon (and our visitors always agree).

Closson Chase
Canadian television actress Sonja Smits found her second calling making wine in The County. Known for their big purple barn, Closson Chase specializes in making Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Throughout the summer they run a monthly Sunday Night Supper Club event, serving up a multi-course dinner by a guest chef with the best wine pairings from the Closson Chase vineyard. Go for the Instagram photo opportunity, stay for the wine and food.

Norman Hardie
A popular spot for lunch while touring The County, Norman Hardie’s wood-fired pizzas are famous in The County and beyond. The vines and oak barrels at the winery were brought in from France, giving their wine a European touch, and Norm’s wines are probably the most famous outside The County. Enjoy pizza and a glass of wine with a stunning view over their vineyard.

Hinterland Wine Company
Sparkling wine lovers, we’re looking at you! Hinterland is known for their great range of bubbly. If you’re more of a beer lover, you’re in luck because the winery is also home to County Road Beer Co. where you can enjoy a beer tasting and grab a bite to eat.

Waupoos Estates Winery
Waupoos is The County’s oldest winery, and pioneered wine making in The County. It opened in 2001, and inspired the dozens of other wineries that came after it. While it’s a little bit off the beaten track, their property is a beautiful backdrop for weddings and other events. They often host their own events too during the summer featuring live bands and – you guessed it – lots of wine. We’ve seen a Beach Boys cover band there while sitting in the sun, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.

Huff Estates
Born and raised in The County, Huff Estates owners Lanny and Catharine Huff have created one of the largest and most popular wineries in the area. Their goal is to produce the highest quality wine in Ontario and create a space that offers everything visitors could possibly want – a great restaurant (try their pizza!), an art gallery, and even a place to sleep at their Inn.

Sandbanks Winery
Known for hosting some of the best events in The County, Sandbanks is one of our favourite wineries to hang out at. With its colourful Muskoka chairs, outdoor gazebos, and live music, the atmosphere is perfect for an afternoon of wine tasting. They also offer a daily tour of the winery at 10 AM, so get there early.

Rosehall Run
Right beside Norman Hardie is Rosehall Run, a vineyard committed to sustainable wine making. Visit their Tasting Bar to sample some of their best and grab lunch this summer from the PICNIC Food Truck on-site.

Casa Dea
Just a short bike ride down the street from Norman Hardie and Rosehall Run is Casa Dea, a winery known for its great summer events and Italian restaurant, La Pergola. With 65 acres of vines, Casa Dea produces a wide variety of everyday wines, reserve and specialty wines, and limited edition wines. Their on-site banquet facility makes it a great venue for weddings too.

There you have it – our 10 favourite large wineries in The County. Don’t want to navigate to them yourself? Join us on our Sip & Cycle bicycle wine tour of The County  or request a custom tour and let us take care of the planning.


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