This Winery is a Must-Visit On Your Next Trip to Prince Edward County


Just under three hours outside of Toronto and Ottawa lies Prince Edward County: a picturesque destination full of vibrant culture, delicious food and a plentiful of wineries. There are over 40 wineries in the county, making it hard to choose where to spend your precious time when visiting. With a rich history, lots of experiences to enjoy and a wide variety of wine, Sandbanks Estates Winery is a stop we think you should make on your next trip to Prince Edward County.


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Where is Sandbanks Winery?

Back in 2001, Catherine Langlois was in Prince Edward County for a party when she saw a lot for sale in Wellington. Catherine (who had a history of working with wine) purchased the lot, started planting grapes and Sandbanks Winery was born. By 2003, they were able to produce and bottle their first harvest to create 150 cases of their signature wine — Baco noir, which Sandbanks describes as a “full-bodied wine with intense plum and wild cherry flavours”. Catherine opened a wine boutique in the basement of her home on the Sandbanks Winery lot and began welcoming people into her home to buy and taste Sandbanks wines. The original house still lives on the Sandbanks estate, and guests can still have that original tasting experience in the Dunes Cabana which is located just outside the basement. Sandbanks Winery still lives on that original lot which continues to grow.

Who bought Sandbanks Winery?

In 2020, Sandbanks was purchased by Arterra Wines Canada which also owns other notable Canadian wineries such as Jackson-Triggs, Inniskillin and NK’Mip.

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Can you tour Sandbanks Winery?

Self-guided tours at the estate also started as a result of COVID, and are still available today. In addition to a classic bar tasting where you can enjoy a flight of five different Sandbanks wines, a notable experience available when you visit the estate is the seated food and wine tasting. Guests can sit and order a meal while enjoying a custom tasting of five wines that pair perfectly with their meal, all while taking in the sights of the vineyard. And if you can’t make it to Sandbanks in the summer, they are one of the only wineries in the county that is open all year round. If you stop by in the winter you’ll be able to drink your wine while enjoying their games room, where they also host wine trivia nights.

No matter the season, there’s always a new experience to enjoy at the winery: Every Friday this summer, local musicians take the stage at Sandbanks to perform live music for guests while they enjoy their wine. This past June they hosted a fundraiser in support of the Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward, where they also opened their leash-free dog park for guests furry friends to run around while visiting Sandbanks. Michelle McIntyre, Sandbanks estate manager, tells us that the Sandbanks team is always brainstorming something new because so many visitors return season after season.


Is there food at Sandbanks Winery?

The Sandbanks’ Shoreline Bistro Food Truck is open from Thursdays to Sundays for visitors to enjoy while they sip their wines. The food truck menu changes every year, with last year’s menu featuring dishes such as mini pancakes, pierogies, and churros. This year, Sandbanks wanted to focus on creating more culinary-forward dishes that would pair well with their wines, so their chef Natalie created a menu that does just that. Our favourites were the Lobster Roll, which pairs beautifully with their Shoreline White wine and the unbelievably delicious French Onion Grilled Cheese paired with the Noir Squared wine.

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Their tasting boutique also features many local products from across the county including cheeses, jams, jellies and spreads — all of which can be used to create a charcuterie board to enjoy while on site.

Sandbanks Wines in the boutique.

What kind of wine does Sandbanks Winery make?

What sets Sandbanks apart from other wineries is the wide range of wines they produce. Not all their wines are the same style and they are always trying to create something new or different. This includes their newest wine, the Piquette, which is perfect for a hot summer day. Made with upcycled grape skins, this bubbly orange wine is light, refreshing and super unique — due to the process of using the grape skins rather than discarding them. Sandbanks comes up with ideas for new wines by looking at what other local wineries are doing, and adding their own spin on it — which is what they did with the winery exclusive Piquette. The Sandbanks Estates vineyard is close to the lake, meaning they don’t get as much frost as other wineries and are able to grow grapes even longer.

Another unique and standout wine from Sandbanks is the Noir Squared. A hybrid of their classic Baco Noir and Pinot Noir, this red wine is full of flavour but doesn’t leave you with that dry mouth-feeling that often comes with red wine. These hybrid wines have become what Sandbanks is known and famous for, as their Shoreline White (a hybrid of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio) won silver at the 2018 Canadian Wine Championships.

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If you are new to Sandbanks wines, Michelle tells us the three wines you have to try are the Piquette, as well as their best sellers the Noir Squared and their Summer Apple Wine (a white wine with notes of apple, citrus and honey). However if you can’t make it to Prince Edward County, you can sign up for their wine club which will send you a selection of four to six library wines (wines from previous years), new releases and boutique exclusive wines every three months straight to your door.

The Sandbanks Winery Pairings for the dishes at the Drake Devonshire Inn.

Where can you buy Sandbanks Wines?

Sandbanks wines are available for purchase on the Sandbanks website, as well as at the LCBO and Wine Rack in Ontario. However, if you stop into the winery while in Prince Edward County, you will be able to buy some winery-exclusive wines.

You can also get a glass of Sandbanks Wine while at a beloved Prince Edward county spot: the Drake Devonshire Inn. This past summer Sandbanks worked in collaboration with Chef Amanda Ray from the Drake Devonshire Inn to create perfect wine pairings for two delicious summer appetizers. Paired with Sandbanks Pinot Grigio (a medium-bodied and smooth white wine with notes of citrus, pear and melon) is Sofia’s Burrata, made with local tomatoes, peach salad and sourdough bread. Paired with the Sandbanks Summer White (an off-dry and refreshing wine with notes of grapefruit and tangerine) is the equally refreshing Summer Zucchini Soup, topped with diced strawberries and toasted slivered almonds. Both dishes are delicious and full of summer flavours on their own but paired with the Sandbanks, both dishes are elevated to give you the ultimate culinary experience.

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