This one goes out to the foodies and the wine lovers. The Windsor Essex Pelee Island corridor is not only known for its tomato production, but for its booming wineries cropping up in the region.
A quick 3-hour drive west from Toronto brings you to the heart of Ontario’s newest wine country. This sleepy region is full of charming boutique wineries, hotels, and hidden gem restaurants that will make you want to shout from the rooftops- or at least share all the things on social.
The Wine Lover’s Guide to Windsor Essex Pelee Island
While there are a ton of reasons to head west (or north if you’re from South of the border), the booming wineries are most likely on the top of your list. Perfect for romantic getaways, bachelorette parties etc, the region caters to food and wine lovers like no other.
Where to Stay:
Grove Hotel: This charming boutique hotel right in the heart of Kingsville will delight you like no other place ever has. Designed by the owners, each room is a different theme, and it’s hard to know what you’re going to get until you open your door (unless you’re a regular and request the same room every time). We fell in love with Room 17- the quintessential room made for the Paris loving girly girls of the world.
Where to Eat:
Breakfast: Merli’s- a quick 45-second walk from the Grove Hotel, Merli’s is what small town diners are all about. The food is locally sourced, and delicious, and the walls are covered with art from local artists. Merli’s is the closest thing to a diner/art gallery in Kingsville, and from what we hear, it’s doing well on both ends.
Lunch: Billy’s Taphouse– lovers of tacos, nachos and salads rejoice. Billy’s know what it does well- create great pairings with what’s on tap- and does it well. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the bar is well stocked with local offerings.
Dinner: Jack’s Gastropub– burger heaven. Yes, they have other things on the menu, but the lamb burger is a must try when you’re there. Followed by the key lime cheesecake.
Anytime: Wolfhead Distillery. The first ultra-premium craft distillery in the heart of rum-running country. The locally inspired menu paired with the in-house spirits creates a culinary experience unlike any other. Wolfhead Distillery features small batch Vodka, Whisky and more, creating distinct spirits you won’t find anywhere else. We recommend the banana caramel vodka. You will not regret it.
What to Do:
Thiessen’s Orchards: Apple picking for the win! The family owned orchards is only open for a short period of time every fall. Besides being able to pick your apples, you can take the kids for a haunted house tour, grab an apple dessert, or cider or check out the flower shop attached to the orchards.
Viewpointe Winery: Set against the beautiful background of Lake Erie, the winery is perfect for lunch, dinner or just stopping by for a drink. Tastings are free, but they do ask for a donation to a local charity.
Oxley Estate Winery: Nestled on 38 acres in the charming small town of Oxley, the renovated 1920’s barn is now the hub of all things food and wine. This diverse winery features 9 acres of numerous grape varieties including Riesling, Chardonnay, Auxerrois, Hibernal, Merlot, Syrah, and more.
There’s so much more to discover in the Windsor Essex Pelee Island region, and you certainly need more than one trip to capture it all.