The very best of vine land - Metro US

The very best of vine land

A Toast to Prince Edward County!

This fall we celebrated a friend’s birthday in Prince Edward County and spent a delicious afternoon touring wineries! Our designated driver Bob delivered us to Hillier Creek Estates to start, where we fell in love with the view of the vineyards and the Estate Rose. Our next stop was the Norman Hardie Winery where we had a chat with Norman himself about his exceptional Pinot and County Chardonnay. At Sandbanks Estate Winery, we munched on crackers and enjoyed the Dunes Vidal Riesling! By the time we landed at the stylish barn reno that is Closson Chase Winery, we were tired but happy and loaded down with more than a case of County wines to bring home!

Prince Edward County is an ideal place for producing wonderful wines, says Kemp Stewart, chair of the Prince Edward County Wine Growers Association. The County is surrounded by water and features some of the most suitable soils for growing wine grapes.

The fall is an ideal time to visit the area, which has been officially designated Ontario’s 4th Viticultural Area. “And there’s so much happening right now,” says Stewart, who also owns Hillier Creek Estates. “Almost all the wineries are busy making wine. We just harvested and pressed our Riesling grapes a few weeks ago.”

Stewart recommends that visitors plan their route – “and be sure to pace yourself. Visit two or three wineries at a time, that’s more than enough.”

While the majority of the over 20 wineries are located in the Hillier area, a winery tour will show you around the rest of the County too — and that’s an ideal way to enjoy the quaint and scenic area. Pick up a Wine Tour Map (or visit www.thecountrywines.com) before you go.

Winemakers in Prince Edward County invite you to the Wassail Wine Festival, which is being held November 20-December 5. Wassailing originated in England and celebrates the end of the harvest! A number of the local County wineries celebrate Wassail and give thanks for a bountiful harvest with special mulled ciders and wines, new releases, seasonal activities and food. For more information, call 613-921-7100 or 1-888-313-WINE.

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