Sometimes you really are here for a good time and not a long time.
We had a whirlwind visit to see family and also to a little bit of fun back into what has become a rapidly passing by summer. We arrived in the County early afternoon, and although I can proudly say that I have a spreadsheet describing almost all of the wineries in Prince Edward County, we made our inaugural visit to Three Dog Winery directly from crossing the bridge. I can’t give you any kind of good reason as to why we hadn’t already been except that it’s a bit more off the beaten path, but my husband had picked up a basic house red from the LCBO a few weeks back and it was really, really good. I had been cheating myself by not visiting sooner.
It’s a lovely winery with a busy but friendly and welcoming atmosphere, lots going on but we were immediately greeted and invited to the busy tasting bar. The wines were indeed good, the deal of the deal was a light and easy Vidal that is perfect for warm summer evenings with friends and I was so very glad we had may our way here.
Next stop of the day was to our perennial favorite, Sandbanks winery. Very busy afternoon as it was a special event day with live music and food vendors on site. We shared a cheese tray for lunch and simply enjoyed a bit of people watching amongst the vineyard. To be able to drive only a few hours and be able to sit and enjoy such a relaxing view with a comfortable lake breeze coming in is a treat that I don’t appreciate often enough. I like Sandbanks because it has a large selection, a good price point, and consistent quality. Our favorite is their Baco Noir and it’s become a go to wine for us.
After that we stopped almost right next door at another of my favorite wineries, By Chadsey’s Cairns. If I like Sandbanks for all of the reasons above, I like Chadsey’s because the wine’s there are always fresh and different each visit. I feel like there is always something new to try, they grow all of their own grapes, and the wines are unique and uniquely good. I was hoping to score a bottle of a rose we had tried previously called Rosessence, but sadly there was no more to be found. We did however discover a chardonnay that ended with a butterscotch note and a lovely sparkly rose that made me forget that I was sad about Rosessence called Pink Fury. Molly Ringwald can’t hold a candle to this pretty in pink bottle.
The rest of our day was low key and family oriented, but there was one more memory to make for the day. As busy as the County is in summer, we found an absolutely private spot to catch the sunset. Definitely a romantic setting that we had all to ourselves for almost the whole time. The old Lakeshore Lodge site has a trail going off into the woods, and if you can stand about ten minutes of mosquitoes while walking through the woods, you get to see this:
We found a flat rock, took our shoes off and let our feet cool off in the water. Just divine.
The next day we were off to two more wineries before heading home, both favorites we were revisiting. The first was Stanners. This is not a big winery compared to some of the others but it has always been consistently good. Really good. Our first ever wine from here was a 2015 Chardonnay which was amazingly good, and it is the reason we keep going back. Every wine they had to offer was really good, and we were there on a day when a brand new wine was being offered called Narrow Rows, a Pinot Noir that amplifies everything that makes their standard Pinot Noir so good. We left with a Chardonnay and a Riesling but it was a very hard choice, the deciding factor being that we were looking for whites this time.
Finally, one last stop on the way home. Broken Stone Winery was one of the very first wineries we stopped at when we started visiting Prince Edward County. They were newer, still trying to make the transition from life in the city to making a go of it full time in the winery. Honestly back then, the wines were good, not my most favorite, but good and their story resonated with me. Many a day I sit at my desk and dream about what a different life would look like, but there is no way I’d ever trade the security I have, plus I actually do love my work. I am however very happy to cheer on someone else I find with the courage to do exactly that, and as such am more than happy to keep visiting and supporting them.
This visit made me cheer! The wines had always been good, but on this day they were very good! We had originally stopped to pick up our standard Cabernet Franc from them, but they were sold out. No time to be sad though because their Simplicity was a lovely and fabulous easy drinking with friends kind of wine. Our other winner was a sparkling Riesling entitled Exuberance, and it is waiting in my fridge right now for a celebration to come up.
Not bad for a whirlwind tour! We loved visiting some familiar spaces and places, and discovering a few new favorites. Catching a sunset with my husband is always a win and I am so glad we were able to get away.
I have no clue when we will get back again, but I do feel like we made the most of it.