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Best Winery in Prince Edward County

best winery in prince edward county, taste trail, picton, wellington, kingstonOn a recent trip to Toronto, I was having dinner at a restaurant downtown and opened up the wine list to find a number of wines from Prince Edward County available on the carefully curated menu. It was a definite moment of pride as I noticed just how many PEC wineries were represented.  Ultimately, it was nice to see the hard work of our local wine makers and the high quality of their products being recognized by a sommelier in one of Canada’s largest cities.  Of course, seeing PEC wines, beers, ciders and spirits on the menu of great restaurants is no surprise when dining out in Kingston. Wines from the region are regularly featured in our local restaurants from high end places like Le Chien Noir, Casa and Olivea, to pubs and family-friendly restaurants like Red House, The Iron Duke and Harper’s Burger Bar.  If you know just the right place to look, you might even find offerings from the best Winery in Prince Edward County!

Over the last 10 years or so, I have watched Prince Edward County’s Taste Trail grow and grow, gaining popularity with wine lovers from near and far. Back when I embarked on my first visit, I think there were about 5-10 wineries whose vines were mature enough to warrant a proper tour and tasting. Nowadays when we visit the County, there is no possible way to visit all of the excellent destinations along the trail without committing to stay for a few days. In fact, popularity has grown so much that we found ourselves unable to pick up some of our favourites last fall because they were sold out. (Note to self: this year we shall visit in September!)

Prince Edward County wineries are increasingly being recognized for their excellence, earning prestigious awards and accolades from experts. The 2016 Ontario Wine Awards saw Sandbanks take home silver in the unoaked Chardonnay category and bronze for their Red Hybrid. Exultet took home both the gold and bronze for their 2013 and 2014 unoaked chardonnay over $20 (the 2013 was also named best white wine of the year) and Keint-he was awarded bronze for their Pinot Noir. Needless to say, Prince Edward County vintners are finally getting some much deserved praise.

Based on what we can find on ygk menus and on the shelves at local LCBOs, we’ve compiled a list of what we consider to be some of the best, brightest and most sought after wineries in Prince Edward County. Is it even fair to try and decide which of these is the best Winery in Prince Edward County? Because there are so many favourites to consider and to choose from, we’ve decided to give readers two votes in this week’s poll. So, tell us:

Which Prince Edward County wineries are your favourites?

  • Karlo Estates (22%, 454 Votes)
  • Sandbanks (17%, 356 Votes)
  • Three Dog Winery (17%, 350 Votes)
  • Hinterland (12%, 244 Votes)
  • Closson Chase (7%, 153 Votes)
  • Casa Dea (6%, 131 Votes)
  • Huff Estates (6%, 114 Votes)
  • Keint-he (4%, 91 Votes)
  • Rosehall Run (4%, 90 Votes)
  • Norman Hardie (3%, 66 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,049

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If you took the time to vote in this week’s poll, please do your favourite winery a solid by dropping a comment below telling us why you voted the way you did. Is there a specific wine that they make that you love? Or maybe one they don’t make anymore? If your favourite isn’t on our list, that’s OK too. Give a shout out to what you consider to be the best winery in Prince Edward County in the comments below.

Thanks to Detourist Guide for today’s photo.

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Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

30 thoughts on “Best Winery in Prince Edward County

  • February 20, 2017 at 9:56 am
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    +1 for By Chadsey's Cairns. I actually can't believe that they aren't included on a wine list somewhere in the city. In any case, their Pinos and Gamays are always a fave for me.

  • February 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm
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    Favourite wineries are Closson Chase, for their beautiful buildings and tasting room / patio as well as their excellent chardonnays, and Hinterland, for bringing fabulous sparkling wine to the county! Love the meander down Closson
    Road…

  • February 21, 2017 at 12:51 pm
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    Our favourite winery is Huff Estates. Lovely wines; beautiful estate and a fabulous Group of Seven painting exhibit. Huff has a knowledgeable staff who offer polite, respectful advice to customers, whether new or experienced oenophiles. Impressive service.

  • February 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm
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    Not on the list ?? Black Prince, for their always great Cabernet Franc year after year and local prince edward county barrel-aged Pinot Noir and Merlot – only County Winery with the vinegar cellars out back – unique

  • February 21, 2017 at 6:36 pm
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    Cab Franc from Sandbanks, yum! Also Keint-he had a lovely Vidal.

  • February 21, 2017 at 7:36 pm
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    For me the most important thing is the wine, and Karlo Estates has by far the best. And that is amongst some pretty serious contenders. The service, value and beautiful estate are a bonus!

  • February 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm
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    I've had the opportunity to visit Keint-he a few times in 2016.
    My lunch on the patio was outstanding, not to mention the friendly staff!
    My favorite's are the Riesling & Rose'.
    Looking forward to another visit this summer!

  • February 21, 2017 at 7:46 pm
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    Karlo estates wines are exceptional and Sherry Karlo has created a fabulous environment to taste, relax with friends and meet new ones .. She embodies the passion for wine that puts PEC on the map.

  • February 21, 2017 at 8:58 pm
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    Karlo Estates has the full package…awesome wine, rustic & relaxing environment, knowledgeable & passionate owner, superb staff that look after all your needs….I truly can't say enough. Simply put it is a great weekend getaway. Always a great time! You need to add it to your bucket list of places to go! ??

  • February 21, 2017 at 9:13 pm
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    Hands down our favourite is Terracello. It is a slice of heaven therebwith the perfect pairing of pizza and wine. We were married there last summer and had our reception there as well. The staff were absolutely amazing and went above and beyond in all areas to make our day so very special.

  • February 21, 2017 at 11:47 pm
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    Karlo Estates for their very unique varietals grape offerings both as complex blends and single focused vintages –and not to forget to mention the charm of their Historical barn, which adds to their whole taste experience –
    Each winery in the county has their very own uniqueness. Love going there to explore .

  • February 22, 2017 at 7:38 am
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    Black Prince for fun and unpretentious tastings, great Merlot, Cab and Pinot in local oak barrels with the Cooper right there. The Barrel Cellar in the restored barn is majestic and the vinegars are sublime.

  • February 22, 2017 at 8:55 am
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    Sandbank wines are not only excellent quality but reasonably priced. The Baco Noir is definately one of my favorites. Always enjoy touring the winery as well as everyone there is so friendly and informative.

  • February 23, 2017 at 4:09 pm
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    You missed one of the best wineries in the county. Try to get your hands on Lighthall 's 2014 Chardonnay. Excellent!

  • February 23, 2017 at 4:11 pm
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    Three Dog Winery has beautiful wines and we love attending their frequent special events!

  • February 23, 2017 at 5:04 pm
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    Three Dog Winery have affordable, amazing tasting wines ! The owners are friendly and the patio is beautiful. Can't forget to mention it's a dog friendly winery as well!

  • February 23, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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    Three Dog is my favourite and I have tried them all! I take guests regularly in wine tours and we love ve the down to earth atmosphere, friendly staff and relaxed patio all year round! Yes, you can sit by the bonfire in winter, go snowshoeing or relax inside by the gas fireplace. Summertime has wood fired pizza oven, and music on the patio. Have not had a wine there I don't like????

  • February 23, 2017 at 11:58 pm
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    By far my favourite is Grange of Prince Edward! Beautiful wines, building and vineyard and 100% estate grown!!

  • February 24, 2017 at 11:22 am
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    Three Dog Winery is without par! A beautiful setting, wonderful people, and the wine cannot be beat! Never had a Three Dog wine I didn't like and all for a very fair price. Absolutely the best of the county.

  • February 25, 2017 at 9:12 pm
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    Karlo Estates Winery has great energy and their Cab Franc is my favourite.

  • February 27, 2017 at 8:37 am
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    KARLO ESTATES! Their White Fortified is absolutely amazing. The vibe at the Vineyard is unmatched! Sandbags is a quick second for their Shoreline White!

  • February 27, 2017 at 10:11 am
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    Karlo estates wines are exceptional and Sherry Karlo has done so much for prince edward county ty

  • February 27, 2017 at 10:57 am
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    If you are going to do a vote you should include ALL PEC Wineries. Why not give them all a chance , This is just plain silly.

    • February 27, 2017 at 1:17 pm
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      I agree that it would be great to include everyone but there are over 30 wineries in PEC, which would make a very long list, so we decided to focus on the wineries that are included on Kingston menus. I didn’t even include some of my own favourites like By Chadsey’s Cairns or Black Prince. The comment section is a great place to give a shout out to your favourites!

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