My visit to Prince Edward County, just this past September, was a three day whirlwind excursion, making every effort to visit as many wineries as I could manage. By the end of my trip, I had a much better feel for an area that I had not visited since 2017. Three years can make a world of difference in the wine industry.
What still stands out from that 2017 visit is learning from various producers why the County is highly praised and viewed by many as being quite similar to parts of Burgundy. It is here that you’ll find some of the finest examples of cool climate chardonnay and pinot noir made in the new world. And that’s no laughing statement. Additional Vitis Vinifera varietals (such as pinot gris, riesling and cabernet franc) and certain hybrid varietals (baco noir, marquette, vidal) lend more of a supporting role to an area that finds it challenging to farm many types (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, for instance) that require a more lengthy growing season.
Overall, I do believe that the County is making very good wine. However, for the most part, this is still very much a two-horse town, with chardonnay and pinot noir setting the pace for attention and acclaim. But winemakers are clearly demonstrating their resilience and ambition to prove that additional varietals and styles can and should be part of the same conversation as excellent chardonnay and pinot.
I have no doubt that this winemaking community will continue to pursue and navigate the region’s unique terroir capabilities in order to produce exciting wines that resonate with consumers. As it stands, the County is still playing a game of catch me if you can with its sister region the Niagara Peninsula. But the quality gap is indeed shortening. Winemakers are taking more chances, and already some of those chances are cashing in big.
Within this wine report, which accounts for about 25 percent of the total scope of the region, I have included descriptions of the wineries that I visited along with detailed tasting notes for most of the wines that I sampled during my visit (wines that I do not recommend from my tasting are not included). You’ll also find price points and my quality-to-price-ratio scores, measured on a scale out of 100 points.
Scores range from moderately – and even barely recommended – to very highly recommended. Roughly 85 percent of the wines I sampled fall into this range. A total of 66 wines are therefore included in this report.
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