sidewalk with lights leading to entrance prince edward county wineries sandbanks

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These Prince Edward County Wineries Should Not Be Overlooked!

Looking for the best Prince Edward County wineries? You’ve come to the right place! As Ontario’s awesome “other” wine region (next to the famous Niagara on the Lake wineries), Prince Edward County is a beautiful island/peninsula area filled with wineries, breweries, beaches, and other things to explore.

Eric did a day tour through Prince Edward County and visited wineries and a brewery (Barley Days) and he’s itching to get back and take Lisa along. You actually pass by the region if you’re driving from Toronto to Kingston – it’s easy to get to from Toronto and makes a great day trip!

That said, it’s hard to say which PEC winery is the “best” since they are all very different and have their unique specialities! Some wineries in Prince Edward County have restaurants onsite, while a handful even come with accommodations. So, if you want to do a day tour or stay a few days, grab a map of Prince Edward County and let’s get exploring!

Things To Consider Before Visiting Prince Edward County

Before you head off to explore Prince Edward County, here are a few things you should know about the region such as getting around, where to stay, and other logistics!

How to Get to Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is an island region location very much in Lake Ontario between Toronto and Kingston. To get there, you simply take Highway 401 EASTBOUND out of Toronto and head for the major city of Belleville.

Once there, you can follow the signs southward into the region. Take Exit 543 to Highway 62 south and follow that basically all the way to Picton (the heart of the PEC region). You could get off the 401 early (near Trenton – Exit 522 to County Road 40) but our version is the most direct with major roads to follow.

Since the total driving time is about 2 hours – Toronto traffic depending – this makes PEC a doable day trip from Toronto. If you’re coming from abroad, it makes the most sense to rent a car in Ontario given the distances between things. Knowing this fact, wineries all have parking.

If you wanted to take the train, you could take the ViaRail from Toronto Union Station to Belleville – but then you’d still need to have a car to get to the main part of the region.

Getting Around Prince Edward County

To get around the region, you really only have three options: drive yourself, rent a bike, or hop on a Prince Edward County wine tour.

Driving Around Prince Edward County

The whole region is full of back roads and turns – that’s what makes the drive so interesting. Stick to Loyalist Parkway (Hwy 33) as the main route through the region but watch for signs for other wineries down small side-roads in all directions!

That said, cell reception can be off at times so if you are relying on Google Maps for directions to wineries, it’s best to also grab a paper map as back up. Yeah, a PAPER map. Remember those?

Also, it should go without saying but some people insist on being stupid: if you do tastings and self-drive either wait it out or have a designated driver, please!

Biking Around Prince Edward County

Alternatively, you can rent a bike and explore the region. You can take them for the day or longer to explore the sandbanks, wineries, smaller towns, and lakefront areas!

To rent a bike in Prince Edward County, you can check out bike rental companies like Ideal Bike (in Wellington). Many of the accommodations will also have bikes for rent but check ahead if this is important to you.

Pro Tip: If you want a bike rental, staying in Wellington might make more sense since you’re a bit closer to bike to the main area of wineries… but that’s just an idea to consider. Same rules apply as above – be careful if you taste and bike!

Prince Edward County Wine Tours

The safest and most enjoyable way to see the region, learn about wines, and not have to worry about navigating is to book a wine tour. You can do this through a top tour operator in the area like Prince Edward County wine tours. Eric did a tour years ago (with another company) and loved it!

Where To Stay in Prince Edward County

If you want to experience the region in more depth – the wineries, the small towns, and the beaches/lakefront – then you should stay a night or two. Finding a place to stay in Prince Edward County isn’t hard – you just have to know where to look so that you can experience the area to its full potential.

You can check here for accommodations in Prince Edward County. Specifically, you’ll find that the best places to stay in Prince Edward County are Picton and Wellington. In Picton, check out Merrill House for a B&B feel while The Queen’s Inn is more of an inn/hotel.

In Wellington – closer to the actual wineries – the Drake Devonshire is a very popular lakefront hotel while the East & Main Suites provide cozy apartments located right in the heart of the region.

Having said that, we are going to write a more detailed guide on this topic so check back for that soon!

Wineries in Prince Edward County, Ontario

Now that we’ve covered a few of the basics, let’s dive into the wineries of the region. Keep in mind that there (at the time of writing) just over 30 wineries. We haven’t been to them all but we are actively working on that! We’ll update the post as we experience more!

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Named after the famous sand dunes in the region, Sandbanks Estate Winery is arguably the most popular winery in the region. With a deep local connection to the land and area, you can hop on a tour and get a real sense of the vineyard’s history. You get that “connected” sense when you visit!

The colourful property is full of comfy Muskoka chairs outside. Inside, the tasting room is bright and spacious and full of wine to try/buy. Tastings can be done at 5 tastings for 5 CAD or 6 CAD for a glass. Known for their Baco Noir, Eric bought a bottle when he visited (and has bought more in the time since) and once you pop the cork they do NOT last long!

If you want to check out Sandbanks when you are in Prince Edward County, they would be more than happy to see you! You can learn more about visiting Sandbanks Winery here.

Address: 17598 Loyalist Pkwy, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0, Canada

Huff Estates Winery & Inn

As one of the bigger establishments in the area, Huff Estates has a lot to live up to. When Eric visited, he definitely thought they did an amazing job! The staff were super friendly and knew their stuff. The tour of the facility was great, too. They run these daily for the public at 11 am (no booking required).

Tastings are simple with 3 wines for 5 CAD and a single for 2 CAD. Try their Unoaked Chardonnay. Huff is also known for their restaurant with pizza that people rave about. They also often have live music.

Known for the fact that they have a winery, gallery (with sculpture garden), and accommodations on site, Huff Estates really has it all for when you visit! You can learn more about visiting Huff Estates here.

Address: 2274 Prince Edward County Rd 1, Bloomfield, ON K0K 1G0, Canada

Trail Estate Winery

Tucked away in PEC is a cozy and cute setting with vineyard views. This is Trail Estate, and you should check it out! Known for their great outdoor space with picnic tables, Muskoka chairs, and a sun sail for shade, the friendly staff pride themselves on their small batch, artisanal wines that are unfiltered and lack the extra additives or tannins.

Tasting is simple – 4 wines for 8 CAD or by the glass for as little as 7 CAD. You get to check out their new, modern tasting room. In the summer, it’s a bit more open concept and outdoor tasting is a go!

If you want sweet, try their Barrel-Ferment Riesling but they also do a nice Baco Noir. To plan your visit, check out Trail Estate Winery here.

Address: 416 Benway Rd, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0, Canada

Karlo Estates

Karlo is known in the region for their full-body wines with fruit-heavy notes. This is because of the grape “hang-time”, their use of wild fermentation, and a reduced filtration process. Check out their Pinot Grigio or their Gewürztraminer (it’s dry).

Karlo does their wine tasting with food pairings – something that is not a standard across most wineries. You might also want to know that the food/winery is vegan-friendly!

With beautiful rustic wood interiors in the old bar that is also filled with fairy lights, the atmosphere is something else at Karlo Estates. Oh, and if you like cats – the winery is crawling (pun intended) with cats! If you want to visit, learn more about Karlo Estates here.

Address: 561 Danforth Rd, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0, Canada

Traynor Family Vineyard

Last – but certainly not least – is Traynor Family Vineyard. This family-run established is a smaller operation – but that’s what people love about it. The family/staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and not afraid to experiment.

Aside from their great wines (like their Sauvignon Blanc), they also do a number of “natural wines” like their Pet-Nat. They do their own vermouth which you should try, too! Tasting is simple – with single tastes available and a flight of 7 wines costing only $12 CAD!

You can also pair your wines with some artisan chocolates if that’s more your style. People rave about the food with a taco truck often onsite. Fun Fact: they have an electric car charging station on site. So bring the Tesla if you’re in town! You can learn all about Traynor and plan a visit here.

Address: 1774 Danforth Rd, Hillier, ON K0K 2J0, Canada

And there you have it – a variety of the great Prince Edward County wineries! We have no doubt that the region will continue to grow and develop over the years to come – and it will be great to see visitor numbers boom. For now, enjoy your wine and let’s keep PEC to ourselves!

As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
– E&L

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