This past weekend I visited Prince Edward County for the first time to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I’ve been wanting to go for a long time to explore the region and visit all the wineries and this was the perfect opportunity, wine is always best when shared with friends, right? I have to say I completely fell in love with PEC and I will definitely be back to try more wineries and see what else the region has to offer like local artisan studios and antique stores. But for now lets focus on wine! We visited 8 wineries over the weekend, some we loved and others not so much. So lets start with the good.
Long Dog Vineyard & Winery was the first place we stopped at on Friday and we immediately fell in love. The scenery and tasting room are definitely very pretty but prettiness doesn’t matter if the wine isn’t any good, right? Well luckily Long Dog exceeded our expectations! The wine was amazing and we even considered driving back on Sunday before leaving to pick up more. The owner was super friendly and we tried about 6 of the 9 varieties/vintages of wine and ended up buying 4 bottles. The fact that this place was so small and the tasting room was actually operated by the owner made the whole experience so intimate and authentic. Long Dog also gets bonus points for it’s adorable labels that have dachshunds on them, which is connected to the story of the vineyard.
On Saturday we visited a lot of vineyards/wineries but our favourite was Hubbs Creek Vineyard.This was another small family run vineyard with the tasting room operated by the owner. He was also super friendly, knowledgable and passionate about his craft. He specializes in Pinot Noir and it was probably the best one I had all weekend. We hadn’t planned on visiting Hubbs Creek but it was right across the street from another one we were visiting so we just walked over and I’m so happy we did since it was really the surprise of the weekend.
One of the other wineries we really enjoyed was Huff Estates Winery & Inn and it was definitely the largest place we visited. The location was really pretty with a nice little art gallery and sculpture garden, two tasting rooms and a great restaurant with a view of the vines where we has lunch. We had been a little disappointed by the larger wineries earlier in the day but Huff Estates was great, especially the Merlot and the Vidal wines.
The other places we visited were good but we didn’t love them as much as the other ones. Karlo Estates was right across from Hubbs Creek Vineyard and it was in a cute rustic barn. This one was nice because they did food and wine pairings for their tastings. We had some good wine there and ended up buying 2 bottles. Hinterland Wine Company specializes in sparkling wine and their tasting room also has a good looking menu. The wines we great and really reasonably priced, we got a sparking white and rosé.
Now for the ones we didn’t like. Waupoos Winery had a really nice location but we just didn’t enjoy their wine, it was all too sweet and their tasting room wasn’t very enjoyable. The same goes for Casa-Dea Estates Winery, although pretty looking the wine was only okay and the tasting room was just too busy to be enjoyable. We also stopped by The Old Third Winery but they didn’t actually have any wine for tasting or any bottles to purchase. So if you go there be sure to check their website in advance. We did try their cider but it wasn’t very good.
There are so many more wineries in Prince Edward County that we’ll have to try when we go back and some that we’re definitely going to be visiting again. Next time we want to just drive around and see what we find since there are many that you won’t find in official guides for the region like Long Dog which isn’t on the tourism guide map. The smaller wineries were our favourite and the experience was much more enjoyable at those family run vineyards than at the ones with large tasting rooms that have 10+ varieties of wine.
If you visit Prince Edward County I would recommend staying in the town of Picton. It was never more than a 25 minute drive to any of the wineries and the town is really cute with good restaurants and cute shops. The Vic Cafe pictured above is a really cute place for brunch and the Agrarian Market is great for picking up pastries, sandwiches, cheese and local strawberries for a picnic. Also don’t miss Slickers Ice Cream (also a location in town of Bloomfeld) and their campfire flavour which is seriously amazing!
Wine isn’t the only thing you’ll find in Prince Edward County, they also have many cider houses and breweries so stay tuned for that on the blog soon!