I had never been to Prince Edward County. I had heard the name and I knew it was in Ontario, not too far from my hometown Ottawa. I knew about the famous Sandbanks Provincial Park, but I only realized with time that Prince Edward county has wineries and a huge food scene.
We decided to spend the weekend in Prince Edward County with the kids. We wanted to see how family friendly the area is and wanted to discover a combination of wine, food and beautiful rural Ontario. Our first stops were the wineries.
Our first visit was The Grange. Caroline, the owner, took us on a private tour of her winery. The tour was very approachable, easy to follow and Caroline answered all our questions. We learned a lot about the history of her farm (it was a chicken canning farm back in the day!) and that the Grange is an Estate Winery – meaning that 100% of the grapes used in her wine are grown on her land.
Caroline and her staff were great with our kids. They were allowed to touch anything, run around the dirt and mud and were allowed to look at the large tanks, if they had dared they could have climbed in one as well. After the tour, she provided the kids with toys and colouring supplies while we tasted the wine and waited for our picnic lunch. We ate the wonderful lunch in the tasting room as the weather was wet, but you can take your basket right out into the winery and enjoy it along the creek or at one of the many picnic tables provided. The food was amazing and all locally sourced. The Grange is a lovely winery – the buildings are beautiful, the landscaping immaculate, the wine is subtle but very pleasant – it was a great first impression of The County.
Next up was Norman Hardie. A much more modern building in a rural setting. Norman Hardie produces his own grapes, but also uses Niagara region grapes for his wines. The reds were wonderful. We tasted a few wines and then sat down on his great patio next to the outdoor pizza oven. We had just finished lunch, but could not resist to try a Pizza. It was perfect. The atmosphere was relaxed and there was a hip crowd enjoying their wine and pizza -.
Our third winery visit was Waupoos Estates Winery on the opposite side of the county. This one uses 90% of self-grown grapes in their wine. They only import Niagara grapes to supplement when needed. This estate has an event feel to it. It’s wonderfully maintained, every little flower bed is thought out, music is playing in the gardens and lighting is strategically placed. There’s a gazebo restaurant and everything is set up to host large weddings and other events. What makes their location great is that they are right on the water and have a dock. There are two tasting areas in the main building and another tasting area in the gazebo restaurant. Again, they were very friendly with the kids and they have a small petting zoo next to the estate, which is great entertainment. Baby lambs and goats are just too cute to pass up.
So yes, wineries in Prince Edward County are great and you can visit them with kids! Everybody is very friendly and the atmosphere is nice and relaxed.
Disclaimer: I received a travel stipend and am paid for writing about Prince Edward County by The Great Waterway. This is one of five articles. The articles will also appear on The Great Waterway blog. I chose and organized my own itinerary and all opinions are my own. All photography is my own.