Dark Horse Estate Winery

Dark Horse Estate Winery, Grand Bend: Hours, Address, Dark Horse Estate Winery Reviews: 4/5

Dark Horse Estate Winery
Wineries & Vineyards
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12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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Dark Horse Estate Winery Inc. is located just minutes from the shores of Lake Huron and next door to the iconic Huron Country Playhouse. The centerpiece of the estate is a 31, 000 sq. ft. manor, which includes a banquet facility, ballroom, state-of-the-art production facility, barrel cellar, tasting room, elite VIP Lounge, and patios overlooking the vineyards. Dark Horse Estate Winery gives its guests a chance to leave the stresses of everyday life behind, to enjoy the robust flavours of their extensive portfolio of wine. It's time to experience something new: Come for the Sunsets, Stay for the Wine. During the summer months from June to August, Dark Horse Estate Winery offers Patio fare and service.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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153 reviews
Very good

Columbus, OH47 contributions
Jun. 2022 • Couples
Beautiful property, not much to do / see, but we loved the “structured tasting” and charcuterie on the patio overlooking the vineyards. Plan to spend less than an hour. Very close to Grand Bend, worth a visit! I booked ahead but it was not necessary, just show up!
Written June 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steph G
1 contribution
Jun. 2022 • Family
Terrible, terrible, terrible. Money hungry management knows nothing about customer service. Literally went against their own contract over and over. 100s of emails with them changing what they've agreed to. They began clean up over an hour before the event ended. Literally taking cups people were using but couldn't even provide a garbage bag. Rude. Unhelpful. Never again.
Written June 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1 contribution
Dec. 2021 • Friends
I attended their December Christmas Marketplace (located in their beautiful ballroom) and while I was there, enjoyed the ambiance of their breathtaking interior setting….
Incredible decor, stunning views to the vineyards, fabulous flights of wine, really lovely wine store. Looking forward to returning to sit on their outdoor terrace this summer.
Written December 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Strathroy, Canada28 contributions
Dec. 2021 • Couples
Great winery experience. Weekend before Christmas we visited Dark Horse winery with our family from Niagara. We always go to Niagara wineries when we visit them so we decided we will show them this beautiful winery in our area.
Dark Horse is definitely one of the most beautiful wineries we have visited. We were lucky that we were the only people doing wine tasting so it felt like a private event. Both Bill and our hostess were so helpful and informative about the wines and the winery. We all tried 4 different wines. They were all good wines. We enjoyed the experience very much and ended up buying wines to take home. We will be back for sure.
Written December 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Debbie S
1 contribution
Dec. 2021 • Couples
They were very knowledgeable and helpful. They had a varied selection. There is something for everyone. The Venue is perfect for special occasions
Written December 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Angie W
1 contribution
Nov. 2021
Beautiful evening spent at Dark Horse for our company Christmas Dinner. Everyone was very impressed with the our tour guide Bill and the wonderful wine pairings with our appetizers. The table settings was absolutely stunning and the meal was spectacular. Look forward to another event at Dark Horse Estate Winery.
Written December 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Zurich, Canada4 contributions
Nov. 2021
Attended Discover Your Palate on Nov. 20 and it was a lovely experience. The venue is beautiful, the food and wine pairings were delicious and the service was excellent.
Would do it again sometime.
Written November 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, Canada1 contribution
Nov. 2021 • Couples
We attended one of their Discover your Palate events (the first since covid) and were extremely impressed with the food and drink offerings, the service and the general ambiance of the winery. We look forward to visiting again soon, sampling more wines and enjoying more events.
Written November 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Breanna S
2 contributions
Oct. 2021
Beautiful Venue
Holly walked us through every step of the way, from booking to recommending vendors to the day of. Although it was a COVID year, Ashley and Holly took the time to explain the restrictions and were able to tailor our day to reflect our vision while still adhering to the COVID Policies. Dark Horse Estate Winery is a beautiful venue and very well maintained, there was definitely attention to detail when building this venue. The bathrooms were stunning! Our guests had a great time and are still taking about it!
Written November 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Calvin H
1 contribution
Sep. 2021
April 2020 we had a tour of Dark Horse and completely fell in love with the beautiful venue. Never would I have I thought that I would be wishing we didn’t book this venue due to the terrible management but fast-forward to September 25th, our wedding day and I can easily say that despite how beautiful the venue is, I absolutely do NOT recommend booking it for your wedding.
When you first walk through, you are greeted by Holly and for the most part you deal with her, which is mostly pleasant. Unfortunately, Holly is only the face you see and deal with BUT has absolutely no authority to make any management decisions. Of course planning a wedding during covid is not ideal but ultimately, the way the vendors treat you during this time makes or breaks it.
When we booked the venue, we never thought for 2 seconds that we would still be where we were with covid over a year later so we booked all the rooms assuming my whole wedding party could get ready in the VIP room and assuming we could have the cocktail hour in the cellar room. Unfortunately due to capacity limits that was not the case. We understand that capacity limits are outside of the venues control, however the way they dealt with this was extremely disappointing. We first reached out to Holly about this and asked we could get ready in the cellar room (capacity 30) instead of the VIP room since we paid for both and the VIP room no longer had the capacity to hold everyone. She immediately said no, the owner wouldn’t allow that. We then asked, since we can’t use both additional rooms we paid for, are we entitled to a refund… answer was easily no. This was a matter of $2500 for 2 rooms we were no longer able to use and absolutely NO accommodations were being made by the owner.
When it was time to pay the host bar 1 week before the wedding, we were absolutely SHOCKED AT THE INCREASED ALCOHOL PRICES. When we signed our contract, beer was 6$, wine was 7$, cocktails were 9$. We understood that “prices are subject to change” but they went from that to 10$/beer, $8/wine, $10/oz of liquor and $2 extra per bottle of wine which were already significantly increased from their retail prices. Their reason “their cost went up”… I have spoken to so many people and other restaurant owners about this and there is no logic to these extensive price increases in a matter of 13 months. This was clearly another selfish move where the owners use COVID as an excuse to take advantage of their customers. My father in law finally got in touch with the owner after Holly said it was out of her hands just to be hung up on. My father in law immediately texted them back and asked what happened and Craig (the owner) mentioned the call had dropped and Ashley (his wife) would be in touch with me in 2 days )instead of calling my father in law back). 2 weeks had gone by and I never heard a thing. As you can imagine, I was extremely frustrated with the poor customer service but Holly reassured us that Ashley would not be here on the wedding day so to just drop the frustration and she would make sure we had a good day… we decided to move ahead and we would make that work and rotate people in the VIP room (even though we had paid for a bigger room that they were refusing to let us use now). And we just paid the bar because at that point, what else were we going to do… we were 1 week away from our wedding day.

Fast forward to the wedding day, to my absolute surprise a lady dressed extremely unprofessionally was hovering all over us ALL DAY. I later found out she was Ashley, the owner. I truly couldn’t believe it. Rude and unprofessional does not begin to describe her. She walked around all morning dictating and making everyone feel uncomfortable, locked the door to the VIP room so that we could no longer go up and down as we pleased, which made the morning very difficult because we e had to rotate people to respect the capacity limit? We were very respectful of the capacity limits and ensured we only had 10 people up there BUT we also had my 6 week old niece sleeping in her stroller which we never for 2 seconds thought to count in this capacity limit. Instead of coming up to us and asking us nicely to consider her, she locked us out and REFUSED to let my sister go upstairs to get her baby when she was screaming… her reply “there’s already 10 people, you can’t go up”. Despite her simply asking to go up and grab the baby and come right back down. I approached her about this because I was extremely frustrated with the way she was treating us and she walked away from me and continue mumbling comments below her breath.
After the ceremony, we were trying to take family photos in front of the doors. We kept in mind that people still needed to use the doors and gladly moved anytime someone was there. But we had the pleasure of having Ashley once again HOVER, arms crossed, absolutely miserable, dressed extremely unprofessionally, standing RIGHT in front of us while we were taking pictures. She continued to go up to the photographers telling them that’s enough. She made comments like “oh they must think they’re the only people here”. I read reviews about how rude she was and treated others like this and I wish so badly I would have listened.
Ashley finally left, but of course, she has no faith in her staff because just as she did all day, questioning them and micromanaging them, she did the same from her home. At exactly 11pm when the outdoor music was to be turned off, she called her staff and had them turn it off immediately. We asked to move the music inside since the rule was capacity of 75, we were WAY UNDER 75 people at 11 pm AND WE PAID FOR THE VENUE UNTIL MIDNIGHT. She refused and told her staff to turn on all the lights. Again, we paid for the venue until midnight and they were essentially kicking us out at 11.
The next morning, my husband and I had to go pick up some stuff and Ashley approached me initially apologizing for her behaviour and offering us money back for the cellar because we had not used it. Unfortunately, at this point it was too late to rectify the situation. I am thankful for the refund but it does not dismiss the way she acted on my wedding day and the fact that she refused to return calls and deal with issues before hand. To me, trying to give us money back AT THAT POINT is just a way to try to not get a bad review. In the same breath of apologizing she also added “I’m just really confused why you’re upset with me”. I explained that if she thinks this kind of behaviour is ok, she should stay away from customers and get out of customer service. Her reply: “I’m not in customer service”. It is clear to me, that Ashley and Craig do not know how to run a business and simply were given a business by their parents. They are unprofessional and very greedy people. They have used covid as an excuse to get themselves ahead but cannot put themselves in the customers shoes. I certainly recommend management classes to both of them.
On a better note, unfortunately the owners completely ruined our opinion about this place but I will point out, that their staff deserve an award, 1) for having to deal with Ashley and her micromanaging 2) they were all phenomenal all day. Christy & Holly were great to deal with and brought light on our day despite all of the frustrations Ashley caused. The bartenders were also amazing all evening!
Throughout our whole wedding planning, honestly the owners of Dark Horse were the only issues we had to deal with. Our other vendors were amazing and it’s really too bad that the ones we gave the most money too are the ones who treat customers so poorly. For all these reasons, do not be fooled by the how beautiful the venue is… there are lots of beautiful venues out there who value their customers and will treat them with professionalism and respect.
Written October 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Dark Horse Estate Winery

Dark Horse Estate Winery is open:
  • Tue - Sun 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
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