Being the owner of a small business means having to wear many hats. As the owner of Sandbanks Vacations, one of those hats happens to be that of a wine tour guide. I remember one tour that I guided a few years ago, the County Wine Essentials Wine Tour. I was picking up three couples from three different locations.
- The first pick-up was at The Waring House in Picton for a couple celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
- The second pick-up was at Angeline’s Inn in Bloomfield for a couple celebrating their first wedding anniversary.
- The third and final pick-up was at a cute little rental suite located a few doors down from the Drake Devonshire called Corner Haven Suite.
With everyone now in the tour van, I introduced myself and gave a brief overview of the wineries we were going to be visiting.
As we drove along the road toward our first winery, I could hear pleasant chatter between the three couples on my tour. “Where do you live? How did you first meet? Where did you get married? How many children do you have?”, and so on.
The three couples on my tour were slowly getting to know one another as we set out to sample some of the world-class wines PEC has to offer.
Let’s Taste Some Great Prince Edward County Wines, Shall We?
Stop # 1 – Sugarbush Vineyards
Sugarbush Vineyards is a small family-run estate winery located on Wilson Road just north of Wellington. Grapes used to make their wines are grown right there on their 13-acre vineyard, which boasts a welcoming atmosphere complete with blankets for chillier days.
After wine tastings, everyone browsed the tasting room and selected wines to purchase. We then returned to the tour van to proceed to our next stop.
As we drove from Sugarbush Vineyards to Karlo Estates, the chatter in the back of the van got a little louder. Everyone had something in common to chat about now. They all talked about how much fun they had at Sugarbush and how great their wine tastings were.
Stop # 2 – Karlo Estates
Karlo Estates is in an old barn on Danforth Road in Hillier. This is the closest winery to Wellington. Everyone absolutely loved their wine tastings in the barn, which features a cozy, four-season Speakeasy Wine Lounge and covered outdoor patio with a fireplace.
After wine tastings in the barn, we walked back through the vineyards to see Karlo Estates’ drystone bridge that passes over Hubbs Creek. (It’s a great photo opportunity, so make sure you take advantage.)
Stop # 3 – Casa-Dea Estates Winery
During the ride from Karlo Estates to Casa-Dea Estates Winery, the requests to turn up the radio started rolling in.
Casa-Dea Estates Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Prince Edward County. They offer a wide variety of VQA Prince Edward County wines. Here, you can rest beneath a covered deck while you take in the picturesque property that’s popular for weddings.
Everyone browsed through Casa-Dea’s retail area after their tastings. Not only do they make great wines, but they also have some great wine-themed gifts and souvenirs.
Stop # 4 – Sandbanks Winery
The ride from Casa-Dea to our last stop, Sandbanks Winery, was about 10 minutes. There was plenty of chatter in the back and more calls to crank the tunes.
Sandbanks is located on Hwy. 33 west of Wellington. It was a warm sunny day, so everyone enjoyed their wine tastings at an outdoor tasting bar. They enjoyed Instagram-worthy views of Lake Ontario in the background and the vineyard in the foreground.
After browsing through the tasting areas and wine boutique, guests purchased some wines and the day wrapped up.
Wine Brings People Together
I had just as much fun on this wine tour as the guests. It is always fun to meet new people and share our beautiful wine region with them.
My group was thrilled with their experience and could not stop talking about how great the County wines tasted and how friendly everyone was at each of the wineries we visited.
They were even making plans to go out for dinner together that evening. I always find it amazing how a love of wine can bring people together. There’s something about it that serves as a source of unity that I find inspiring.
Book Your Own Wine Tour
Aside from enjoying the brilliant views of PEC vineyards, you’ll get the opportunity to learn about the winemaking process, discover some local history, and sample new varietals you’ve never even heard of. Life is too short to drink bad wine – and we have some of the best right here in Prince Edward County.
Make the most of your stay in Prince Edward County! Book your tour here.
By: Richard Barrett