Several bottles of white and red wine sit on a bar with more lined on a shelf behind.

Dark Horse Estate Winery | Ontario’s Southwest

Wineries along Lake Huron’s west coast

Several bottles of white and red wine sit on a bar with more lined on a shelf behind.

Dark Horse Estate Winery | Ontario’s Southwest

Breaking ground outside of Ontario’s established wine regions, trendsetting winemakers are bringing unique and delicious wine experiences to this beachy stretch of Lake Huron.

So pack your weekend bags and meet some of the biggest personalities in Ontario’s wine scene at the following winery estates and vineyards.

Southwestern Ontario

Alton Farms Estate Winery

One of the wine pioneers along Huron Shores, Alton Farms Winery opened its doors in 2005. Since then, they’ve been devoted to producing handcrafted wines using traditional techniques to maximize flavour and minimize their impact on their environment.

When you book your tasting experience, consider a wine and chocolate pairing or put your palate to the test with the blind tasting.

Either way, make time to explore the gorgeous walking trails across the property. 

Location: 5547 Aberarder Line, Plympton-Wyoming

Shale Ridge Estate Winery & Cidery

Established in 2019, Shale Ridge is a relative newcomer to the Huron Shores wine scene.

Producing farm-to-glass wines and ciders made from a variety of tree and stone fruits, all of the Shale Ridge Winery offerings are crafted from estate-grown or locally sourced produce.

Check out the menu as you sip a glass of wine—the Roman-style “Pinsa” crust pizzas should not be missed.

Book a “swing table” so you can sway in the wind, savouring great wine, food and a splendid Lake Huron sunset.

Location: 9090 Widder Road, Thedford

Dark Horse Estate Winery

George Bernard Shaw’s famous quote, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it,” could well apply to the duo who bucked the naysayers and made Dark Horse Estate Winery a reality. And not just a reality but a success.

Preparations began in 2014 with vines planted the following season. After years of determination, innovation and sheer grit, the thriving eight-hectare vineyard surrounds a stunning, manor-style production facility.

Located just minutes from legendary beaches and next to the Huron Country Playhouse, a tasting and tour at Dark Horse Estate Winery is the perfect addition to any itinerary.

Location: 70665 B Line, Grand Bend

Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington

Hessenland Inn & Schatz Winery

Located on the grounds of one of Ontario’s most elegant inns, this property delivers the perfect wine and food weekend destination.

Hessenland Inn is an upscale, boutique country hotel with an on-site restaurant, expansive gardens and now, the Schatz Winery.

Visit the wine boutique to sample some sparkling Vidal or try a glass of the oak-aged Marquette, two of Ontario’s most popular grape varietals.

Before leaving, pick up your favourite wines to take home.

Location: 72981 ON-21, Zurich

Cornerfield Wine Co.

Established in 2015 and carved into a corner of a working farm, Cornerfield Wine Co. is just a stone’s throw from Lake Huron’s shoreline.

Although a relatively recent vineyard, the winery uses traditional winemaking practices and pairs them with a family-first approach to create wines that reflect a true labour of love.

Sample winemaker Steve Byfield’s carefully produced, complex and well-balanced reds, whites and rosés in a welcoming, relaxed setting.

Location: 74444 Bluewater Highway, Bayfield

Maelstrom Winery

With almost three and a half hectares of flourishing vineyards, this boutique winery has come a long way from the first test plot of vines planted in 2009.

Maelstrom Winery was the first winery to tap into the unique terroir of Huron County, only to discover the potential for the production of cool climate varietals such as Riesling, chardonnay, Marquette and cabernet franc.

Book a visit to learn all about this delightful success story from the owners themselves as you tour the winery and vineyard, glass in hand.

Location: 78925 Sanctuary Line, Seaforth

2nd Streetlight Estate Winery

Between Blacks Point Beach and the Maitland River, you’ll find this hidden gem.

Planted in 2016 with cabernet franc, baco noir, Vidal, chardonnay and Riesling, 2nd Streetlight Estate Winery opened its doors to wine lovers in 2018.

And the love affair is going strong. Try the “KIN” sparkling wine, which blends chardonnay and Riesling for a tasty way to celebrate life’s everyday achievements. Or sample their “Good Red” baco-blend—an easy-drinking crowd-pleaser.

Location: 36594 Huron Road, Clinton

Bayfield Berry Farm

Complete with a market, bakery and cafe, Bayfield Berry Farm stands by the farm-to-table philosophy. It proudly grows, processes and provides homegrown products to its community and beyond.

From Saskatoon berry wine to German plum schnapps, this farm is constantly turning its sustainably farmed fruit into creative concoctions.

In addition to your favourite wine, pick up some homemade baked goods on-site.

Location: 77697 Orchard Line, Bayfield

Last updated: June 18, 2024

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today.