Updated: Aug 5, 2019
When you think of an Ontario wine escape the first thought for most is a trip over to the ever popular Niagara region, but within the last few years another hot spot has slowly gained the attention of wine lovers all over. This raising star is none other than Prince Edward County of course.
Nestled along the northeastern shores of Lake Ontario you can find Prince Edward County on your drive between Kingston and Toronto. Dotted with small townships, picturesque country sides and farm fields you will find some of the best local wineries in all of Ontario. So with summer in full swing there is no better time to check some of them out!
Prince Edward County has seen a dramatic growth in wineries over the last few years, it has over 40 local wineries dotting the countryside and many new ones opening up every year. While the region's moderate climate (thanks in part to the lake effect) makes it ideal for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the ambitious young wineries experiment with a lot of bold and interesting takes on several other varieties as well. Making for some very interesting flavour profiles that you would not necessarily find anywhere else.
With so many options one trip will not be enough so do some research upfront and select a few spots you want to hit up during the day. Many of wineries are close enough to each other you can easily pick a route that hits a number within a short distance (with many opting to bike it on a good day). It is always best to start off early in the day before the tasting rooms get overrun with the masses. Among those we tried this time around my favourites included Closson Chase, a lovely winery with a great open seating area outside for you to sip your wine while taking in the views and Trail Estates, an amazing small winery that had a several unique wines within its portfolio.
Now while the region may be making a name for itself with wine, that is not the only thing you find here. There are more than a few breweries and distilleries as well if you prefer those instead (or just want to take a break from the wine). Two great spots to hit up if you are so inclined are Kinsip and County Cider. Kinsip offers a great selection of spirits to try of which my favourite had to be the Gin. While County Cider gives you a chance to grab a bite to eat while taking in the amazing view as you enjoy a cider or two ( I would highly recommend trying one of they're a cider cocktails).
After a long day of sampling the many delicious wineries, breweries and distilleries of the county comes to an end, there is no shortage of amazing dinning options to conclude your day. With many offering you the ability to bring your own wines you can take one of your new favourite wines to pair with your dinner. Our pick for the evening was Flame + Smith, a specializing in Woodfire based cooking and located right on Bloomfield.
With attentive service and eclectic atmosphere to go along with some delicious food options Flame + Smith is a great spot to wind down the day. We had the opportunity to sample a number of their shareable options including a mouth watering Seafood platter that was simply overflowing along with some impeccably created cocktails that set the tone for the rest of the evening. When the mains came in they were as much a work of art as they were delicious!
How does one end a weekend out in wine country? Why with brunch of course and where better to have it than Drake Devonshire. Situated right along the shoreline in Wellington, it offers an uninterrupted view of the lake while you sip on your morning Mimosa. After you enjoy a Scrumptious Eggs benedict you have take the time walk around the grounds and enjoy the artwork installations scattered throughout. Then take one final look before you get back on the road to head back home where you can unload your weekend discoveries! Until next time Prince Edward County!
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