The County of Prince Edward is an island community on the shores of Lake Ontario with a proud United Empire Loyalist heritage. Boasting beautiful beaches and a unique rural landscape, the County offers serene country living. Our strong agricultural roots, thriving tourism attractions, renowned regional cuisine, and growing wine industry combine to offer a unique and unmatched quality of life.
Prince Edward County is Ontario`second best known wine region, on the opposite side
of the lake from Niagara-on-the-Lake. A Designated Viticultural Area in Ontario with close to 40 wineries The growing season is as long as the
Niagara Region's with winters that are colder. Vineyards grow next to Lake
Ontario, which has a moderating effect on the air temperatures.
PEC has become famous for its limestone-rich, fertile and well drained clay loam soil. Climate: Hot and sunny, Hillier is one of the driest areas of Ontario with a moderating easterly breeze from Lake Ontario. The winters, however, can drop to temperatures that may threaten survival of the crops. For this reason, all vines are covered with soil for the winter.
Prince Edward County includes the population centres of Picton and Wellington and the communities of Ameliasburg, Bloomfield, Carrying Place, Cherry Valley, Consecon, Cressy, Demorestville, Fawcettville, Glenora, Hillier, Lake On The Mountain, Milford, Mountain View, Northport, Rednersville, Rosehall, Rossmore,and others. Just over 25,000 live on the Island (2017). There is an increase in population in the summer been a favourite destination of Toronto and area residents.
Photo from Ontario Wine Council
Currently winesofcanada.com lists 48 wineries in PEC with additional cideries and Meaderies.
Closson Chase began back in 1998 with seven hectares when Geoff Heinrick and Deborah Paskus studied the soil of Prince Edward County determining
that outstanding Burgundian could do well.
After producing successful wines Seaton Mclean and his wife Sonja Smits who had purchase a country home in the area offered to back Deborah
leading to the open of Closson Chase in 2004
This charming winery is housed in a heritage barn that has been restored and refurbished to accommodate a tasting room, a shop
offering a connoisseur's selection of exclusive wine accessories, crystal and glassware as well as the processing facilities
Deborah Paskus, one of Canada's premier winemakers is using centuries-old European traditions to create the exceptional Pinot
Noirs and Chardonnays that the County is building its reputation on.
Black Prince Winery was conceived by John Sambrook (General Manager of the Opimian
Society) in 2000, who wanted to establish a winery in this lovely, picturesque
area of Prince Edward County. This region has the viticultural landscape to
produce first-rate wines with the vineyards located on a fertile, sandy loam
ridge The Black Prince was an Edward (Edward County), eldest son of Edward III.
10 acres planted; Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Baco Noir,
Regent, Marechal Foch and Seyval Blanc. The winery is currently
producing 5,000 cases with production plans for 10,000. Black
Prince brand sits as “Many Terrior, One Winery” having
wine available from Black Prince as well as some of the small
grape growers in PEC, such as Bella Vigne and Hillier. Visitors
are invited to experience wine crafted from many of the diverse
vineyards in “The County” and find some medieval lore along the
Hillier Creek Estates. First planted in 2002,
the estate has 25,000 plants (Pinot Noir, Gamay, Chardonnay and Riesling)
on 30 acres. A distinguishing feature of the vineyard is that a creek (of which there are few in the County because of the limestone base)runs
through the property.
The winery is owned by Kemp Stewart.
One of the bigger and best known wineries is Huff Estates, housed in a striking building that incorporates natural elements such as stone, wood and water, Huff Estates Winery is a state-of-the-art facility. The doors officially on June 12, 2004. The winery is owned by Frank (Lanny) Huff.
It opened with its
first commercial vintage 2003 consisting of Chardonnay, Riesling and Gamay.
Another very popular winery is Karlo Estates Winery in Wellington. It was founded by the late winemaker Richard Karo. In the summer of 2015 Derek Barnett was only appointed Winemaker at Karlo Estates to practice his art on Prince Edward County grapes but he was also named “Wine Person of the Year” by the National Capital Sommelier Guild.
You can not go to Wellington with out visiting the family owned Rosehall Run Vineyards. The 25 acre vineyard has
Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chardonnay Musque, Ehrenfelser. Soil type Hillier Clay (clay with limestone gravel/rock over fractured limestone. The first vintage was 2004. Estimated cases between 6,000 - 8,000.
Also in Wellington is the outstanding winery owned by Catherine Langlois Sandbanks Estate Winery. Catherine is the winemaker She worked briefly for an Ontario
winery before seeking her own property in 1999. Planting 2.5 hectares (6 acres)
of vines: mostly Vidal, Baco Noir, Riesling and Cabernet Franc, as well as
some Geisenheim, Pinot Noir, and Maréchal Foch. Sandbanks Winery's
vines are planted on a south-facing within sight of Lake Ontario, which moderates
the temperature during the year. They are rooted in soil made up of well-drained
clay and limestone rock.
Other wineries worthy of mention are Keint-He Winery & Vineyard, Black Prince, Broken Stone, Casa-Dea Estates Winery and Hillier Creek Estates. Among the newer onces BarnyardWine Compamy 3630 and Cape Vineyards.
Exultet Estate Winery is a former Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines - 2011 Chardonnay.
Charles and Mollie Lacey purchased property in Hillier, in 1982, as a summer retreat.
Lacey Vineyards, Charles and Mollie Lacey purchased property in Hillier, in 1982, as a summer retreat. Hillier is known to be one of the best areas for grape growing in the county. Its rich Hillier clay loam soil produces wines with profound tastes, textures and balance.
Waupoos Estate Winery
Three Dog Winery
Prince Edward County is still a relatively young wine region and with adventures Winemakers, vineyard managers and owners.