We departed Markham (Danny & Janice’s) on Tuesday morning and travelled along the Lake Ontario lakeshore and had lunch in Port Hope where the salmon were running in the river so lots of fisherman catching very large salmon before they died. As we continued we saw the swinging bridge at Carrying Place on the Murray canal. Eventually we got to Quinte Isle Campark where we met up with the Sunrisers group. This is the Ontario chapter of the LTV owners and they organize rallies in the Fall and the Spring. This was our first rally and it was great to meet new people who have similar rigs to ours and share stories about travel adventures and see many other configurations.
On Wednesday another rally couple (Amber & Nancy) joined us for some winery tours. We visited Black Prince Winery, Huff Estates Winery, Sugarbush Vineyards, Domaine Darius, and Karlo Estates. We also tried to visit Gilead Distillery and Hubbs Creek Vineyard but they were closed. We saw lots of products that they make from old wine casks and also saw how they harvest and press the grapes to make the wine. At each location you could pay to sample the wines or if you purchased product the tasting was free so of course we purchased bottles at all of the wineries;-) We also learned that the vines have 4 primary stalks and how they bury those 4 in the dirt to protect them through the harsh Prince Edward County winters and then tie them back up in the spring. On Wednesday night Leisure Travel Vans sponsored our rally group of 8 units for an Oktoberfest dinner.
On Thursday the 4 of us again headed out to visit some wineries. We went to Exultet Wines, Long Dog Winery, Waupoos Estates Winery, Del Gatto Estates, and the Devils Wishbone Winery. We tried to go to Lighthall Winery but they were closed for harvesting. The smaller wineries like Exultet and Long Dog were not marked on the map and we found limited supply of their red wines as they had sold out earlier in the year. It seems like going in May or June would be better timing if you wanted a chance to sample/buy more products. On this day we also visited two cheese houses, Black River Cheese, and Fifth Town Artisan Cheese. Unfortunately the cheese cellar was closed to the public at Fifth Town due to safety concerns so we couldn’t tour the cellars. As you will see from the photos on this day we saw lots of funny mats and T-shirts in the shops;-) On Thursday night we had a pot luck dinner with the LTV rally group and then sat around the campfire.
The weather had been gorgeous up to this point but Friday morning was cold and rainy. We had our farewell breakfast with the LTV rally group inside the rec hall at the campground. Sharon and I had joined a group called Harvest Hosts where you can boondock at wineries/breweries and there were two in the Prince Edward County list so we decided to stay for two more days. On Friday Sharon and I visited Half Moon Bay Winery (with more cool cask products) and did some hiking along Long Point road where the bird observatory is located. We also visited Keint-he Winery and finished off with Casa Dea Estates Winery where we were boondocking for the night. We enjoyed wine by our RV with the wooden table that Ella & Richard had given us and watched the sunset. It was so peaceful parked beside the vineyard with no one around after they closed. Our favourite wine of all that we tried was the Adamo from Casa Dea where they dry the grapes for 5 weeks before they press them so it was incredibly robust.
On Saturday we were back to warmer temperatures and we started off with a great tour of Sandbanks Estate Winery and then went to the market in Wellington. Then we went to Norman Hardie Winery, to Casa Dea for Pizza lunch (we got lots of free glasses of wine as they messed up our order;-) ), to Rosehall Run, County Road Beer, and finished off at Traynor Family Vineyard where we were boondocking for the night. Traynor had an amazing Lavender Vermouth as an aperitif and they also let us plug in which was great since the night time temperature went down to 2 C.
On Sunday we planned to visit our friend Cheryl at her new house in Caesarea on Lake Scugog but we stopped at the Big Apple along the 401. That place is huge and that’s not just the Apple! We tried several of the local ciders and of course bought some Apple Strudel and a large Crumbled Apple pie. They had glass windows all around the bakery so you could watch them making the apple products. The sign showing where in Ontario apples grow was also very interesting. Once in Caesarea we had a great lunch break with Cheryl we headed back home.
What a fantastic week meeting new people and visiting 17 wineries, 1 Brewery, 1 Cider Distillery, and 2 cheese houses. Since there are around 50 wineries in the county we definitely will go back another time but we may have to get a loan from the bank so we can afford to buy all the wine (we came back with 3 cases of wine plus beer and cider)!