I look forward to getting the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide every year! The new 2019/2020 guide just came out in May and I’ve already started using it to plan my wine trips. The guide is divided into the five Ontario wine regions with information about each area and helpful descriptions about the wineries. Plus, the maps are AMAZING! The Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide really helps to plan your trip and make the most out of your visit. Every summer I try to check off as many wineries in the guide that I can! And this year, I’ve already started…
Last month, I did a day trip in Prince Edward County with my mom. As you may know, I recently bought a house in Prince Edward County and have been anxious to start exploring the wine region in my own backyard! As I do with all of my wine trips, I used the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide to plan my day. We had such a fun day exploring the PEC wine region at Keint-He and By Chadsey’s Cairns wineries. I thought I’d share with you our visit to PEC and the steps I use to plan the BEST wine trips using the guide. A few easy steps using the new Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide and you’ll be ready to explore our beautiful wine regions! If you don’t already have a copy of the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide, make sure to download it here.
1. Pick where you want to go
There are five different regions featured in the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide. Picking which region to explore is difficult (they’re all so good!) and picking which wineries to visit in that region can be even harder! Luckily, the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide is a huge help in making these decisions. For this step, I love to refer to all the handy maps – there’s a large pull-out map of Ontario’s wine country and smaller maps for each region. Once I’ve narrowed down the region, I like to pick a group of wineries that are fairly close to each other so that I can easily bike or have a short drive. On this trip to PEC we only had 1 day to explore, so I picked two wineries from the PEC map that were close to my house and a quick drive from each other. In the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide you can also check off the wineries that you’ve visited, which helps to keep track of the wineries you’ve been to. So with all this in mind, I picked Keint-He Winery and By Chadsey’s Cairns to visit on my trip to PEC wine country.
2. Create an itinerary
Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE to create an itinerary! I think that having an itinerary allows you to get the most out of any trip. The Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide provides you with all the information you need to create the best wine trip itineraries. Every winery in the guide has a great description that highlights what the winery is known for. The winery listings also include the hours and icons advising of picnic areas, tours, food, hiking, etc. With all this information it’s easy to create a good itinerary – you’ll know where to start based on opening times; where to spend longer because of a tour; and where to will stop for lunch. For my recent visit to PEC my itinerary included starting at Keint-He Winery bright and early 11am; followed by lunch at Casa-Dea Estates Winery; and ending the day at by Chadsey’s Cairn with plenty of extra time to explore the winery’s property. As usual, having a good itinerary made for a great trip!
3. Plan your visits
Get the most out of your winery visits by knowing a bit about them before you go. As I mentioned in step 2, the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide includes a description of each winery that highlights key features. I learned from the guide that Keint-He Winery is known for Burgundian style wines, so I planned to taste all their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays on my visit…and I did! The guide described By Chadsey’s Cairn Winery as being located on a 209-year-old farm, so I planned some extra time to explore the property and learn about it’s history. It’s such a benefit to have some background on the wineries you’re going to visit before you go, and the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide is your best resource!
4. Enjoy the wineries
With all the planning done, using the helpful Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide, it’s now time to enjoy your wine trip! I had so much fun visiting Keint-He Winery and By Chadsey’s Cairns during my day in PEC wine country. We started the day early at Keint-He Winery where I tasted all of their delicious Burgundian style Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the cozy tasting room. I learned about their Pinot Noirs and approach to winemaking from the very friendly staff. Inside, the tastings are done at a large family style table, which allowed us to meet some of the other wine visitors – Cosette (my Frenchie) got a lot of attention here! It was pouring rain during our visit to Keint-He, but on a nice day there is a lovely patio overlooking the vineyards and Lake Ontario. We ended the day with a tasting and exploration at By Chadsey’s Cairn. The winemaker’s daughter (who just happened to be in town for the day and put to work) led us through a tasting in the beautiful old barn. A few of their wines are already sold out, so we were happy to try some rare wines like Muscat and sparkling red. After our tasting we explored the historic 1850’s apple house and their pioneer cemetery. It was a very enjoyable day thanks to the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide!
5. Buy the wine
Take home some wine (the best kind of souvenir) from your trip to Wine Country Ontario. A lot, if not most, of the wines that you’ll taste will not available at the LCBO. This isn’t a bad thing, but a great opportunity to purchase small-batch unique wines directly from the producers. I can’t think of a better way to reminisce about a wine trip than by opening a bottle purchased there. On this trip I took home a delicious bottle of the Keint-He Greer Road Pinot Noir and a beautiful Muscat from By Chadsey’s Cairns. The Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide has some helpful tips for buying wine, like travelling with a cooler in warmer months. This is a great tip because, I hate to admit it, but I’ve had far too many bottles of wine turn bad because of improper storage in the car. Bring a cooler and buy the wine!
So there you have it! My five easy steps for using the Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide to plan a wonderful wine trip. I cannot wait for more trips this summer and to continue my exploration of Ontario Wine Country. We have such amazing wine regions in Ontario, all at our door-step just waiting to be discovered. Ontario’s world-class wines and beautiful vineyards make for the most delicious adventure! Make sure to make the most of your Ontario wine adventures by picking up the new 2019/2020 Wine Country Ontario Travel Guide at your local LCBO or download it here. Happy wine travels!