Popping open a perfectly crisp bottle of wine with friends is perhaps one of life’s most simple and universal pleasures. Unfortunately, during the depths of the pandemic, wine drinking morphed into a solo activity, partially to make meme-inspired light of dire circumstances, but mostly for our sanity. Luckily come summer 2021, we are once again reminded of why we really love wine, so here are Elixuer’s top 5 recommendations for Ontario Wineries.
Broken Stone Winery, Prince Edward County
If you’re looking to visit a family-run winery, Broken Stone is the place to be. It has been designed beautifully, boasting vivid yellow seating, an open-plan wine shop, and Woody, the family dog, whose spontaneous trip to your table is sure to prompt a harmonious outpouring of joy. Moreover, all the winery’s grapes are grown and harvested on the surrounding 20 acres of land to make Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling, to name a few. To fully indulge in Broken Stone’s eclectic array of wines, visitors are encouraged to book a tasting online in advance.
Hinterland Wine Company, Prince Edward County
Tucked away behind miles of winding country roads, Hinterland Winery is known for its signature Les Etoiles 2016 Method Traditional, expansive outdoor layout, and bar-like atmosphere. If you are apprehensive about social distancing measures, Hinterland caters well to concern. Seating is entirely outdoors and well spaced. Moreover, staff and guests are always relaxed, drawing in a noticeably youthful crowd of professionals looking to slow down over the weekend.
The Grange Winery, Prince Edward County
The Grange Winery sets itself apart by collaborating with Old Salt, a pop-up style bar serving its own cocktail creations as well as a selection of local beer and wine. You can sample from the various offerings on the daily wine menu, just a few metres away from the vineyard, where you are also free to take a walk amongst the vines. Should you start to feel peckish, next to the bar is the Old Salt outdoor kitchen and BBQ, offering both regular hot dogs and burgers and their plant-based alternatives.
Paglione State Winery, Harrow, Ontario
Paglione State Winery is the brainchild and legacy of Italian-born entrepreneur, artist, and lifelong grape grower, Santino Paglione. Modelled on classical Tuscan architecture and built by Santino’s reputed construction company, Santal Homes Ltd, this winery is the hallmark of Paglione’s life’s work. The winery sits on 40 acres of land, featuring sprawling vineyards full of grapes for small batch wines. These wines are paired with hand-made Italian cuisine as a nod to Santino’s roots.
Waupoos Estate Winery, Prince Edward County
This spot is a standout if you’re a true wine connoisseur who values history. As Prince Edward County’s first-ever winery, established in 1993 and resting on a stunning 100-acre waterfront property, this place sets the bar high for wine country folk. Waupoos began as an experiment to investigate what could grow on the land. Almost 30 years later, 20 of the 100 acres are dedicated to growing 18 varieties of grapes, producing countless batches of award-winning wine.
Rachel Goodman | Contributing Writer