Address: 17598 Loyalist Pkwy, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0
Phone: (613) 399-1839
As I arrive in Prince Edward County in the afternoon, I see the big billboard entrance for Sandbanks Winery. Hard to miss it because it is right on Loyalist Parkway, the main road through Wellington, Bloomfield and Picton. The parking lot was packed and there were cars parking on the side road or the ditch too. This popular winery seems like it is a must visit because of its convenient location and the name, branding after the local attraction, Sandbanks Provincial Park.
I thought the winery was really cute! The environment was very welcoming and well groomed. I love the vibrant warm colours. Gazebos, patios and beach chairs are everywhere in the picnic area for visitors to enjoy a lunch and wine social event. The architecture has a European touch, similar to rural Provence and the traditional Italian houses in Tuscany. A lot of natural light comes through the window in the tasting room. Earth tones are used to decorate the interior, offering a lighthearted, relaxing, easy going atmosphere. You can stay as long as you like.
All workers were enthusiastic, happy and young. The day I visited, they were so occupied by visitors, and everyone were working nonstop. Some workers were busy stocking up the shelves, some were around to guide customers to whatever they were asking, majority were handling the tasting bar.
Standing at the tasting bar, waiting for some assistance is a first come first serve process. Tasting is $3 per person, for a tasting of 5 wines or complimentary with the purchase of a bottle of wine. My assistant, Kevin, showed me a list of Sandbanks Winery produced wines. To be honest, there is quite a lot, organized from dry to fruity under the categories of white, red rose and dessert. He was knowledgeable of the Sandbanks wines and telling us what should be expected with each tasting.
Because I personally favour the sweeter white wines, I tried tarter and medium sweet variations or white.
- Pinot Grigio : is one of their dryer wines. I liked it because it had a pear scent and tasted fruity and mellow, bringing excitement to the palate. Kevin was surprised, probably wondered what was she talking about, not liking dry wines. As the tasting continued forward, I concluded this was my favourite wine of all.
- Riesling : is technically their mediocre dry level wine, but I find it dryer than the Pinot Grigio. I find it quite acidic on the palate, and lacked the fruitiness I was expecting. To me, it was a confusing wine. *This is according to my palate and tastes.
- Summer : had a lot of bubbles and felt airy. It was like a champagne, light and sweet, full of fun. This was definitely one of the easier drink, like flavoured carbonated water, bursting with fruity tastes. I did not purchase this because it was more like a celebration wine or a seasonal wine to me.
- Rose : is a blend of red and white wine. It was very tart or dry and bitter, offering a sour scent like cranberry. When I drank it, I just did not like it and neither can I accept it. *This is according to my own palate and preference.
- Late Harvest : resembled an ice wine but not exactly an iced wine since the grapes were not picked in the winter when there is a frost layer on it. The grapes were picked before the snowfall. The wine was sweet, a true dessert wine with a hint of honey and fruits.
The wines are priced competitively, on average $15 or $16, really economical and a great everyday wine to have. Other than purchasing their wines at the winery, you can also find them at LCBO stores for the same price. I walked out with a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a Late Harvest. As much as I say I like sweet wines, I realized I live on the middle plane. It turns out I like sweet wines like ice wine and mediocre dry wines. After paying, we were free to tour the grounds and explore a bit.
There was an event the day I visited, hence, the major decoration and outdoor activities or showcase of wines everywhere. It was so pretty and relaxing that I can spend a day on those lawn chairs.
The contemporary designed labels on each bottle differentiated each wine from another, signifying the fun, upbeat, abstract flavours of the wines. The colour scheme followed the outlook of the winery, very bright, creative, exciting and warm. Planted its first vines in 2001, in a decade, the winery is recognized across all of Ontario. Expansion is a continuing dedicated process, in hopes to produce more quality wines for everyone. I recommend the winery to everyone who is looking for a good everyday wine that is well priced. I also recommend it for the beautiful atmosphere and convenient location.