Regal Road Trip
By Amanda Allison
Since 2001, when the first winery opened its doors, adventurous winemakers and tourists alike have flocked to Prince Edward County, now home to 24 wineries. There is plenty to see and do beyond a wine tasting, however. To help you on your travels, VINES has created guides to help you on your search for the best County experience from start to finish. Follow our plan for your visit or mix styles to create your personal travel guide.
Photo Credit: Steven Elphick
Closson Chase Vineyards calls this 1880s heritage barn home
View Regal Road Trip: CLASSIC map
Prince Edward County Lavender
732 Closson Rd., Hillier
There are over a dozen lavender growers within Hillier’s wine country and this is a great place to start your journey into classic Prince Edward County. Enjoy an educational tour or craft workshop and then hit the shop for handmade products like oil, soap, sugar and potted plants. For the best flowering, visit mid-July until early September.
Closson Chase Vineyards
629 Closson Rd., Hillier
Housed in 1880s heritage barn, Closson Chase has been a popular stopping spot for wine travellers for years. The focus is on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made from small yields and winemaker Deborah Paskus has found much acclaim for her wines.
The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards and Estate Winery
990 Closson Rd., Hillier
Established in 2002 on the original Loyalist patented Trumpour farm, The Grange is owned by father/daughter team Bob and Caroline Granger, who teamed up with Jeff Innes as winemaker. Wine tastings are offered daily from noon to 4 p.m. Free public tours are available at noon and 3 p.m.
The Waring House
Hwy 33 Loyalist Parkway and County Rd. 1, Picton
Whether you choose a table in the Prince Edward County or Amelia’s Garden fine dining rooms or take a seat in the more casual Barley Room, you’re indulging in one of the county’s best-known historic buildings. Built in the early 1800s, this County landmark features a seasonally changing menu and live entertainment Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Reservations recommended.
343 Main St., Picton
The Merrill Inn is as classic as it gets – from its gingerbread trimmed gables, to its period antiques furnishing the rooms. Enjoy a little piece of history while nestled close to all the action.
Waupoos Estate Winery
3016 County Rd. 8, Picton
Waupoos was the first winery to open its doors in the County back in 2001 and has only improved since.Tours are available for 10 or more people if booked in advance. Stop by and sample four wines for $1.
Black River Cheese Company
913 County Rd. 13, Milford
Black River Cheese Company traces its history back to 1901 when local farmers started the business. True to its roots, this small production facility is devoted to preserving a tradition of making superior cheese – loads of different types of cheddar (including maple) and specialty mozzarrella.
81 Morrison Point Rd., Milford
Take a short walk from Black River Cheese Company and enjoy the scenery – including giant 140-year old maple trees. Vicki’s Veggies roadside stand is right around the corner. It occupies a building that was once a post-office in the late 1800s and specializes in unique vegetables, including over 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes.
Sandbanks Provincial Park
Finish your trip with a stop that’s quintessentially County – Sandbanks. The sand dunes and beaches form two of the largest freshwater baymouth sandbars in the world right on the shores of Lake Ontario. If you’re feeling adventurous, hike the Cedar Sands Trail (a 2 km, easy-level hike) and take in the view. Otherwise, enjoy your purchases as a picnic or swim away the afternoon before hitting the highway home.
Photo Credit: Jeffery Kirk
Norman Hardie and his namesake wines flip the typical County image on its head
View Regal Road Trip: MODERN map
Hillier Creek Estates
46 Stapleton Rd., Hillier
Make your first stop at one of the newest wineries in the area. Hillier Creek Estates may have only opened this year, but its fully refurbished 150-year-old barn is a piece of history to be enjoyed. Sample a glass of wine on either of their patios and take in the view of the new County.
Norman Hardie Vineyards & Winery
1152 Greer St., Hillier
Only the best make it into what Norm Hardie calls his ‘modern barn’ winery and tasting room. Focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay made from either Niagara- or Prince Edward County-grown grapes, Hardie looks to produce quality over quantity wines.
Angéline’s Restaurant & Inn
433 Main St., Bloomfield
If you are looking for simple elegance in the County, Angéline’s is the answer. Executive Chef Sébastien Schwab is creative with his seasonal menu, which features French dishes with an innovative switch up.
Huff Estates Winery
2274 County Rd.1, Bloomfield
Lanny and Catharine Huff are nothing but excellent hosts. With the winery, Oeno Gallery and the inn all on the same premises, you can enjoy all three aspects at once. Be sure to enjoy a tasting while you stay at the inn, a modern facility with all the bells and whistles to make your stay a pleasant one.
Mad Dog Gallery
525 County Rd.11, Picton
Operating since 1990, Mad Dog Gallery hosts both traditional and contemporary fine art done by some of the County’s most talented artists. The exclusive home of several artists, new work is arriving each week. Check online for the schedule of group and solo shows throughout the year.
The Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company
4309 County Rd. 8, Picton
Fifth Town opened in the summer of 2008 making it a relative newbie to the area, but it’s already making a mark on the County scene. A producer of hand-made cheeses from fresh, locally produced goat and sheep milk, Fifth Town is as focused on local terroir as the area’s winemakers. You can find a variety of soft-ripened, washed-rind and hard cheeses along with limited editions.
Saraswatis Wellness Spa
1280 Fry Rd., Prince Edward
On your way out of the County, complete your journey at the newest destination Wellness Center and Spa. Relax in the infared sauna, rejuvenate with a body wrap or unwind with a massage.
Photo Credit: Amanda Allison
East & Main restaurant serves up innovative local food in Wellington
View Regal Road Trip: ECLECTIC map
422 Partridge Hollow Rd., Consecon
There’s not many wineries like Redtail Vineyard. Canada’s off-grid winery pioneers are not only organic, but also completely solar powered. Relatively new to the area, Redtail produces Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in super-small quantities. You’ll have to drop by the winery to experience their hard work first hand and drink up the passion.
172 Main St., Picton
Buddha Dog opened its doors in the County back in 2005 with the goal to make an exceptional…hotdog? There’s nothing ballpark about these dogs that bring together the best of the area – from butchers and bakers to chefs and cheese-makers. It’s truly a bite of the County.
275 Main St., Picton
You may not expect to find designer brands on the cheap in Picton, but City Revival is proving otherwise. A local hot spot for over 18 years, their 4,000 square feet of goods means there’s something for everyone.
East & Main
270 Main St. W., Wellington
A delightful addition to Wellington, East & Main serves up innovative food alongside a lengthy wine list that keeps the locals and tourists coming back for more. With a focus on regional food and wine, they even have an express section where you can take some excellent goods to go.
The Devonshire Inn on the Lake
24 Wharf St., Wellington
In the village of Wellington is the intimate eight room boutique hotel, the Devonshire. Located on the lakefront, the inn has comfortable cottage-chic rooms and suites and a wine bar restaurant. Some may be irked by the lack of a television in the rooms, but there are much prettier things to look right outside your window.
Keint-He Vineyards & Winery
49 Hubbs Creek, Walton
A pioneer of the County’s wine scene, winemaker Geoff Heinricks’ makes all organic and Burgundian influenced Pinot Noir, St.Laurent and Chardonnay. These wines continue to evolve with every sip and express the unique terroir of the County.
Dead People’s Stuff
388 Main St., Bloomfield
An eclectic mix of antiques and desirables, Dead People’s Stuff is full of wonderful oddities. With a selection ranging from distressed country to 1950s retro chic that’s ever changing, you’ll have to stop by and see what you can dig up from the past.
Slickers Ice Cream
271 Main St., Bloomfield
Before you head home, you must pop by Slickers – a County original. As their sign reads, this is the coolest way to taste the county. Slickers creates handmade, unique and fresh daily ice creams with many ingredients coming straight from the County. From roasted marshmallow to apple pie flavours, Slickers is an ice cream lover’s dream.