Wine bottles, two glasses of wine and a charcuterie sit on wooden tables in front of an outdoor fire.

Oxley Estate Winery | Ontario’s Southwest

Explore Windsor Essex wineries in Ontario’s southernmost wine region

Wine bottles, two glasses of wine and a charcuterie sit on wooden tables in front of an outdoor fire.

Oxley Estate Winery | Ontario’s Southwest

Between Amherstburg and Point Pelee, winemakers in Windsor Essex and Pelee take full advantage of Canada’s warmest grape-growing region to produce some of the country’s most incredible wines.

Seasonal tours, tasting rooms, and food and wine pairings are all a part of the experience as you weave your way down the country roads and soak in vineyard vistas, lake views and island vibes.

Windsor Essex and Pelee Island wineries

Pelee Island Winery

With locations in both Kingsville and on the island for which it’s named, Pelee Island Winery is Canada’s southernmost winery. First established in 1854, the winery has stacked up hundreds of awards since the Paris World Fair in 1878 for exceptional and approachable wines.

To visit the Pelee Island location, you’ll need to board the ferry from Leamington or Kingsville, which takes about an hour and a half each way. It is worth the trip to enjoy tastings at the Winery Pavilion, overlooking a portion of the 283 hectares of farmland and vineyards.

The Wine Patio at the Kingsville location is equally as lovely. Enjoy a crisp Late Harvest Riesling, a lively Pinot Noir or the medium-bodied Cabernet Franc. Ask about the interactive tour to learn all about the ‘vine to wine’ process.

455 Seacliff Drive, Kingsville 
20 East West Road, Pelee Island

Colchester Ridge Estate Winery

Affectionally called ‘CREW’, Colchester Ridge is a family-owned winery located just outside the lakeside community of Colchester. In 2001 vinifera vines were planted on almost five hectares of land, followed by the production of quality award-winning VQA wines.

The quality of the wine is matched only by the friendly hospitality of the CREW team. The kitchen has designed a thoughtful pairing and sharing grazing menu, so stop in to enjoy a tasting flight enhanced with flavourful dishes overlooking the lush vineyards. If you’re around on a Sunday, the CREW kitchen serves a divine brunch between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Location: 108 County Road 50 East, Harrow

Mastronardi Estate Winery

Mastronardi’s 40-hectare historic vineyard was planted over 25 years ago and now harvests almost 20 varieties of grape vines used to create award-winning wines. Today, the father and son duo lead the family-run operation, that includes a gorgeous, multi-functional event centre, as well as a European-style tasting room and retail area.

Follow the wine-making process on a Viticultural Tour of the vineyard and production facility, from the grapes growing on the vine to the final product poured into your glass.

Location: 1193 Concession 3 East, Kingsville

Colio Estate Winery

With over 30 years of experience, Colio Estate Winery played a pivotal role in the renaissance of Lake Erie North Shore’s wine-making industry. Colio was one of the first in the region to receive a license to produce alcohol since prohibition and has gone on to rack up over 500 awards nationally and internationally.

In-depth tours lead you through the process of winemaking, including the grape handling process and to the climate-controlled barrel aging cellars and bottling area.

Sample fruit-forward sangrias from the Girls’ Night Out series or sparkling charmat-crafted whites. Enjoy flavours inspired by the world’s most iconic wine destinations in the International series, as well as authentic wines showcasing the best of Lake Erie North Shore in the Bricklayer’s collection.

Location: 1 Colio Drive, Harrow

Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery

Welcome to Ontario’s only beachfront winery!

The picturesque property features a grand stone and wood tasting and production facility surrounded by a forest to one side, rows of mature vineyards, small ponds and a soft sandy stretch of Lake Erie beach. 

From Pinot Grigio and Riesling to Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir, sample a variety of rich flavours with a wine tasting flight.  And during the warmer months, take full advantage of the beachfront access with a delicious picnic lunch basket.

Location: 7258 Essex County Road 50 RR #5, Harrow

Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards

Located just east of Harrow in the heart of Lake Erie North Shore’s wine rich region, Cooper’s Hawk estate winery has reserved two hectares of its 28-hectare vineyard property as natural green space.

The winery is named after one of the many bird species frequently viewed in the protected area, a testament to their commitment to the land and its inhabitants. And this environmental stewardship. Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards was honoured with the title of Sustainable Trailblazer of the Year in 2024 for innovative, eco-friendly initiatives.

Visit this scenic spot for lovingly crafted wines paired seasonally with delicious fare from The Vines restaurant, patio and tasting room. Stay for the birdwatching, breathtaking views and romantic sunsets.

Location: 1425 Iler Road, Harrow

Viewpointe Estate Winery

With a view that extends from the spectacular tasting room and large lakefront patio across expansive lawns to the blue waters of Lake Erie, Viewpointe Estate Winery couldn’t be more aptly named.

On a sunny day, the shimmering lake blends into the clear blue sky, creating a surreal horizon-less effect. Soak in the scenery with a glass of your favourite red, white or rosé wine.

Location: 151 County Road 50 East, Harrow

Dancing Swallows Vineyard

For something a little different, visit Dancing Swallows Vineyard, situated on a century-old farm just a couple of kilometres southeast of Amherstburg. In the heart of the property, tucked beneath the largest maple tree on the farm, is not a tasting room but a tasting garden.

Guests are welcomed to a repurposed shipping container serving up craft wines from their Artist series to enjoy outside between May to October, surrounded by the lovely vineyards and succulent grapes.

Location: 8704 Essex Road 9, Amherstburg

North 42 Degrees Estate Winery

Lake Erie North Shore shares the same location along the 42nd north parallel with wine regions in southern France, Italy and California. Hence the name of this 6.8-hectare vineyard, winery and restaurant.

Chef Cameron heads up the culinary team at Bistro 42, who welcome you to the new tasting room and restaurant for a curated menu of classic French bistro-inspired cuisine carefully matched with a selection of North 42 Degrees’ handcrafted wines. The majority of ingredients are homegrown produce, local meats and cheese and Canadian sustainable seafood.

In addition, Serenity Lavender Farm and Retail Shop is located on the property, and you’ll see lavender-infused items on the menu.

Location: 130 Essex County Road 50, Harrow

Oxley Estate Winery

East of Colchester and south of Harrow, Oxley Estate Winery specializes in small batches of quality, fruit-forward wines grown on over 15 hectares of vineyard.

The estate is home to a beautifully renovated century-old barn, where guests are welcome to dine indoors or on the wine garden patio weather permitting. The menu features down-to-earth, locally sourced items including Lake Erie perch, Oxley barn burgers and charcuterie and cheese boards. Pair these delights with their Chardonnay, Pinot Rosé, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, sparkling or Icewines.

Attention music lovers! Oxley raises wine pairing to a whole new level. Each wine has a unique sound and is paired with a song, from The Tragically Hip’s ‘Ahead by a Century’ to Louis Armstrong’s rendition of ‘La Vie en Rose’.

Location: 533 County 50 Road East, Harrow

Paglione Estate Winery

Paglione Estate Winery brings the charm of Italy to Ontario’s southernmost coast.

Soak up the Mediterranean atmosphere from the beautiful architecture to the fresh insalate, delicious antipasti, homemade, wood-fired thin-crust pizza, and hand-crafted gelato. Paired, of course, with delightful, small-batch wine inspired by Italian winemaking traditions.

Location: 724 County Road 50 East, Harrow

Muscedere Vineyards

Muscedere Vineyards is a five-hectare, family-owned and operated winery that hand-harvests its grapes to produce premium, hand-crafted, small-lot wines. Specializing in premium reds, including a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, each bottle offers a unique varietal character.

From May to October, guests are invited to their dog-friendly outdoor patio for wood-fired pizzas paired with award-winning Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Meritage and Pinot Noir. Simple and delicious, the pizza menu includes veggie and meat lovers options, as well as gluten free dough.

And because the winery is located alongside the 50-kilometre Chrysler Canada Greenway Trail that travels through Essex County, it’s the perfect stop to include on a cycle touring itinerary.

Location: 7457 County Road 18, Harrow

Wagner Orchards & Estate Winery

In addition to pick-your-own apple experiences, delicious homemade pies and other baked goods available in the bakery and even an event space, this farm produces a fine merlot, Gewürztraminer and a blush wine blend of raspberry and vidal.

Location: 1222 Lakeshore Road 103, Maidstone

Aleksander Estate Winery

Don’t miss this hidden gem just north of Ruthven. The family-run winery balances tradition with experience to create unique and award-winning white, red and fruit wines.

Book a personalized tour, sample wines in the tasting room and purchase your favourite from the boutique.

Location: 1542 County Road 34, Ruthven

Erie Shore Vineyard

Just steps from the shores of Lake Erie, this family-run vineyard and winery released their first vintages over 20 years ago. Since then, the vineyard has been expanded while their wines have been recognized with awards.

Location: 410 County Road 50 West, Harrow

Sanson Estate Winery

East of Amherstburg and just a short drive from Windsor, Sanson Farms is Essex County’s only food and wine store. The estate is home to Field to Fork Foods plus an onsite winery producing a baco noir that was voted best in Canada.

Location: 9238 Walker Road, McGregor

Vin Winery

Just 15 minutes drive from Windsor, Vin Winery is one of the more recent additions to the Windsor Essex wine scene.

From the Instagrammable tasting bar to the bold and tasty wines and seasonal menu, this spot is a must-visit.

Location: 1241 South Malden Road, Essex

Vivace Estate Winery

Enjoy the rustic elegance of Vivace Estate on a vine-to-wine tour and wine tasting.

Named after a musical term for lively and upbeat, both the ambiance and quality of the wine reflect this vibe.

Location: 5141 Concession 5 North, Amherstburg

Black Bear Farms of Ontario Estate Winery

A family estate winery specializing in a selection of fruit wines from berries and fruit grown onsite including blackcurrant, blueberries and pear.

Location: 1137 County Road 20, Kingsville

Guided and self-guided wine tours

Knowledgeable local guides will help you fully experience and appreciate the essence of the wine culture in this rural pocket of Ontario.

Be escorted to the region's best wineries and treated to tastings, tours and ample time to enjoy the scenic vineyards and lake views in a guided trip or tour the region on your own.

EPIC Wine Route Map and Tasting Pass

Build your perfect personalized wine experience. Use the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC) map to plot your route and create your own itinerary.

Purchase a tasting pass to redeem for a tasting flight at six of the participating wineries. Your pass will remain valid for 30 days after the first use so it’s perfect for a weekend or multi-day road trip.

Grape Vine Tours

Based in Kingsville, Grape Vine Tours offers a variety of small group excursions around Lake Erie North Shore’s scenic wine country. Flexible local pick-up and drop-off and customizable itineraries make this tour operator an excellent hassle-free option for a perfect wine-inspired day trip.

One of their most popular tours include the North Shore Wine Adventure, which includes a visit to three wineries with wine tastings, personal tours of the production facilities often not regularly offered to guests, and lunch at one of the wineries. Of course, you’ll also have time to browse winery boutiques to purchase your favourite vintages.

You can also opt for the Wine and Brew Along the North Shore which includes local breweries on your itinerary, as well as the tastings, tours, lunch and door-to-door transportation throughout the tours.

Windsor Eats

Passionately celebrating and sharing everything food and drink related for almost a decade, Windsor Eats has won the Best Culinary Tourism Experience in Ontario award AND Innovator of the Year for Canadian Tourism! So, rest assured you’re in good hands on their Wine Trail Cycling Ride. This bicycle tour meanders through farmlands and along the lovely Lake Erie shoreline with key stops at four of the region’s best wineries.

Starting in Harrow, the tour lasts about five hours and includes your bike and helmet, a guide cycling with you, tastings, snacks and a meal. You’re also welcome to work with the team to customize your own version of the tour.

Last updated: March 28, 2024

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