Yelp’s Grape Escape to Prince Edward County Part 1: Sandbanks Estate Winery & Closson Chase Wineyards

 Closson Chase winery

Day trip to Prince Edward County for wine tasting

June 10, 2018:  In June, Yelp hosted their very first day trip and I was one of the lucky Elites to be able to attend this outing!  The destination was to Prince Edward County and the purpose was for wine tasting and to enjoy everything that this small but quaint island full of sandy beaches and wineries had to offer.

The itinerary was beautifully set out for us for the day (thank you so much to everyone involved who organized this trip for us; the wine tours were so well organized and thought out!).  We met up at the Walmart Plaza in Vaughan early in the morning where we departed east towards Prince Edward County at 9 a.m.  Our yellow school bus was packed full with foodie lovers and review writers and their guests.  I was able to bring my mom with me to Prince Edward County for our first wine tasting outing! 😀

 Grape Escape day trip

Trip subsidized by Yelp GTA! We still paid for a partial bus fee, lunch, and dinner fees

Along the two-hour drive to PEC, we made a pit stop for the restrooms (and a quick breakfast sandwich from A&W for us).  We were also gifted breakfast bars from Kind.  As well, we received a tote bag full of goodies from Yelp themselves along with the itinerary for the day and the rules for the scavenger hunt.

Since there were about 50 of us and six wineries had been booked, we were split down the middle into two groups where we visited different wineries throughout the day.

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Sandbanks Estate Winery

For us in Group 1, we visited the Sandbanks Estate Winery (17598 Loyalist Pkwy, Wellington) as our first winery.  We arrived, were greeted warmly, and led to walk along the path where we saw all of their vineyards and into a little house where we did our wine tasting.

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Walking to the secondary tasting cellar

Here, we were able to sample five types of wines.  It was nice that we were given some light snacks to go along with the wines too.  With each sampling, we were given a brief introduction about the wines as well.

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Wine cellar

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Cheers to the first sauvignon blanc of the day!

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Nice wines at Sandbanks

After the wine tasting, we explored the area and had plenty of time to fulfill the tasks for our photo scavenger hunt.  The participant who completed the most tasks during the day would have a chance to win some of the selected wines that Kris bought on the wine tours!

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Hello little grapes

It was a beautiful summer day and the perfect weather to be outdoors.

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Multicoloured Muskoka chairs

Sandbanks Estate Winery

Tractor photo ops and lounging in the sun

We picked up the other group (they were at Trail Estate Winery) and then we headed off towards lunch.

Drake Devonshire patio views

Drake Devonshire patio views

Lunch was a pre-booked prix fixe picnic style lunch at Drake Devonshire (24 Wharf St, Wellington).  Already, when we arrived there, I heard the rumours that lunch wasn’t actually ready yet.  We were ushered into the dining room that led to a beautiful patio and oversaw the lake shore where we enjoyed the view as we waited for lunch to be served.  Some people played some board games inside the dining room.

Unfortunately, we had to wait nearly 45 minutes for our food to actually come out which meant that we were severely late for our next wine tour schedule.  All of the lunches were already packed into portable boxes and paper bags fortunately, but the rush was something that was unexpected (and probably unnecessary since it was a pre-booked arrangement — someone screwed up somewhere).

Drake Devonshire Lunch

Lunch to-go

 Chicken salad sandwich and dessert

Chicken salad sandwich and dessert

The chicken salad sandwich was simple but surprisingly tasty and the dessert was a cute cupcake with raspberries on the side.

After lunch, we dropped off Group 2 first this time to Norman Hardie Winery before our Group 1 headed to Closson Chase Wineyards (629 Closson Rd, Hillier) for our second wine tour of the day.

 Closson Chase Wineyards

I love this purple barn for a winery!

I absolutely loved the look and concept of Closson Chase!  It was a purple barn which had a sprawling large backyard with comfortable sofas and seating areas.   Their vineyards were just off to the distance.  It was probably one of the most picturesque vineyards I’ve ever been to.

 Closson Chase Wineyards

Rustic vibes

Here, we sampled three wines from different years.  I love how their fancy wine glasses were so sheer and gorgeously thin-stemmed.  You can really tell the calibre of a vineyard by the wine glasses that they use for giving wine samples. 😀

 Closson Chase Wineyards

2014 Chardonnay

 Closson Chase Wineyards

Cheers to the beautiful sunshine and winery

For the scavenger hunt items here, we looked for the “God of Wine,” the pig on the roof, the Closson Chase signage, and more.  It was a beautiful purple barn winery that I’ll never forget!

 Closson Chase Wineyards

Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris

The latter part of the afternoon in Prince Edward County continues on in the next blog post.  We went to two more wineries with the rest of the group.  Click here to read it! 😛


About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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1 Response to Yelp’s Grape Escape to Prince Edward County Part 1: Sandbanks Estate Winery & Closson Chase Wineyards

  1. Pingback: Yelp’s Grape Escape to Prince Edward County: Hillier Creek Estates Winery & Karlo Estates | stenoodie

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