Vancouver island Wine & Culinary Guide - All vancouver islands Windery's
Expect warm smiles and a friendly welcome from knowledgeable staff when touring the Wine Islands region. The following are a few best-practice tips intended to make the most of your tasting-room experience.
Tasting and Purchasing — Winery owners offer tastings to reach new customers and showcase their wares. To ensure your purchases make it home safely, bring along a cooler or two, especially on warm days. Wines stored in a hot car can literally blow their corks. Transport wines cork or cap up, then once they’re home allow them to rest for a few weeks to overcome the temporary “bottle shock.”
Children and Pets — Many wineries are family-run and children are usually welcome, but pets might not be. In either case, it’s best to phone ahead and check. Your dearly beloveds need to be closely supervised at all times given such potential dangers as vehicles, farm equipment, electric fences, and resident animals.
Smoking — It is illegal in B.C. to smoke in public places, including tasting rooms. Some wineries have a designated area outside, but many have a no-smoking policy indoors and out. Smoking is an extreme fire hazard during dry summers.
Fragrances — Avoid wearing scents, fragrances and perfumes when touring wineries, as they can interfere with your ability to smell and taste. It’s also a social courtesy to those with allergies.
The ‘Dump Bucket’ — When tasting a succession of wines, take a small sip of each, swirl it around your palate, swallow a little, then spit the rest into the ‘dump bucket’. Wine professionals often spit directly into the bucket, but you can ask for a cup for more discreet disposal.
Fees — Some wineries offer free tastings, others charge a modest fee (in which case that fact will be posted prominently). In either case, everyone is welcome to enjoy the vineyard setting and staff commentary. Limited-edition premium wines typically aren’t offered for tasting, however they may be available by the glass or bottle at local restaurants.
Responsible Sipping — We encourage visitors to travel with a designated driver who will not consume alcohol. If you start feeling the effects of your tasting, take a break for an hour or two while enjoying a hike, picnic or visit to an area restaurant or attraction.
Pinot Noir — The great grape of Burgundy has become the Island’s most-planted red variety and with good reason. Although notoriously temperamental (its nickname is the “heartbreak grape”), it produces a medium-bodied, elegant, long-lived wine that pairs well with salmon and lamb.
Ortega — Named for the Spanish philosopher and poet, Ortega is a German cross of Müller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe, two other Island varieties. Early ripening Ortega produces a crisp, light wine with a bright floral aroma and citrus flavours. A great match for local shellfish and crab.
Pinot Gris — A popular grape in both Alsace and Oregon, Pinot Gris is developing two distinct styles on Vancouver Island. Unoaked Gris produces a crisp, light style that is sometimes finished off-dry. Oaked Gris is richer and spicier, often with a distinctive copper hue.
Vinegar — Vinegar is a derivative of water, wine, cider and other fermented juices. North America’s only producer of ancient-method balsamic is in the Cowichan Valley and the product is coveted by chefs across the continent.
Brews — Since the Hudson’s Bay Company first established breweries at outlying forts, local brewmasters have turned beer making into a fine art. Taste the results of more than 150 years of experience at Vancouver Island’s renowned breweries and micro-breweries.
Honey — Archeologists have learned that mead was popular in Northern China at least 9,000 years ago. The intoxicating result of naturally fermenting honey and water must have been discovered by chance long before that, however. Island meaderies flavour their products with wine, fruit, or spices. Styles range from light, dry table wine to sweet, oak-aged dessert wine.
Fruit Wines — Bursting with flavour, wild blackberries are used to produce dessert and dry table wines that have won international acclaim. Other unique taste sensations include blueberry, strawberry, apple, pear and raspberry wines, as well as blueberry mead.
Spirits — There is a growing culture of artisan distilling on the Island. Sample clear and colourless fruit brandies as well as eaux de vie, vodka, gin and single-malt whiskey.
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Photos, Videos and MoreClassically-inspired wines with a spirit of adventure! “This winery owns one of the best sites for growing grapes on the coast… [and has]… one of the best teams in the…
Garry Oaks Winery
1880 Fulford-Ganges Road • Salt Spring Island • The Gulf Islands
Glenterra Vineyards & Thistles Cafe
We farm sustainably, no pesticides or herbicides are used in our vineyard. Our winemaking emphasizes a minimalist & natural approach, this produces wines with vibrant character that are expressive of their terroir.
3897 Cobble Hill Road • Cobble Hill • Cowichan
Silverside Farm & Winery
Welcome to our unique winery, producing wines from raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and tayberries. Tasting room, art gallery, and gift shop. Tours welcome – please call ahead. June-Aug open daily 11am-6pm; Sept-May open Saturdays 12pm-5 pm or by appointment.
Cobble Hill • Cowichan
Cheers Cowichan Tours
Daily guided tours to all Cowichan area destinations. Wineries, Farms, Festivals, Corporate or Mindfulness day trips, Theatre, Labyrinths, Special Events. Pickups at a: hotel, B&B, marina, residence. Shuttle seats up to 18. Create your own day or add onto an existing tour.
Enrico Winery Inc
Home to award-winning wines and friendly people! Join us in our Tasting Room for a wine tasting, stroll through our picturesque vineyards, and relax in our picnic area by the trout pond.
Mill Bay • Cowichan
Visit our 30-acre vineyard and sample our wines and bubbly in our wine shop or our wine bar Vinoteca. Our 100 per cent estate-produced wines reflect the character of the Island.
Duncan • Cowichan
Deol Estate Winery
A family-owned and operated winery. Come enjoy our picnic area and our high-quality wines made from 100% estate-grown grapes. It’s not just our business, it’s our passion.
Duncan • Cowichan
Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Wine
Beaufort is well known in the Comox valley for consistently handcrafting high quality wines at affordable prices. Come and check out our new tasting room space and try some of our award winning wines; stay for a picnic and enjoy the views of the vineyard and the Beaufort mountain range.
Comox Valley • North Central Island
VQA Wine Shop at Mattick’s Farm
Specializing in 100 percent B.C. wines and related giftware. Featuring winery-direct pricing. The service can best be described as, “Knowledgeable, yet not pretentious; approachable with a hint of sass!” Open every day.
133-5325 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria • Victoria • South Island
Salt Spring Vineyards
Salt Spring Vineyards offers a fun tasting experience, matching award-winning, hand-crafted wines with local foods in a beautiful setting. Bring a picnic and enjoy live music every Friday and Sunday from June until September.
Salt Spring Island • The Gulf Islands
Join us at MooBerry Winery for a tour of our family run business located on our heritage dairy farm, and be sure to visit our Farmgate Store for tastings. Open year-round daily 9am-5pm!
403 Lowry’s Road • Parksville • Central Island
Come and see the art of handblown glass, ranging from oil lamps to wine glasses, visitors welcome. Open 10am – 5 pm Thursdays to Mondays.
678 Shawnigan Lake Road • Malahat • South Island
Chateau Wolff Estate Vineyard & Winery
We are a small family owned winery in Nanaimo, British Columbia. The wine is handcrafted in our cellars using old world methods and created naturally with minimal intervention. With stunning views of Mount Benson and the peaceful stream of Millstone river, Chateau Wolff Estate is our little slice of heaven. We invite you to see and taste it for yourself Tasting room opening in early summer on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment.
2534 Maxey Rd. Nanaimo, BC •
de Vine Vineyards
Come savour our wines and enjoy breathtaking views of the coast and mountains. Open May-September, please see website for updated hours.
6181-B Old West Saanich Road • Saanich • South Island
100% Saanich grown wines. We are a small family owned winery 15 minutes north of Victoria near Butchart Gardens, specializing in dry, aromatic white wines and lively, lightly oaked reds including Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Ortega, Pinot Noir Rosé, Millot and Foch. Enjoy our historic family farm with timber tasting room, and large patios overlooking the vineyard. Savor the quiet with a glass of wine and a 100% locally sourced lunch from the deli. Open 11-5 Fri & wkends May–Sep & 12–5 Mon to Thurs Jul–Aug. Check the website for off season hours.
Victoria • South Island
Cherry Point Vineyard
We feature award winning estate wines crafted along classic European traditions. Our grape varietals are selected to match soil types to extract the best flavors of the land. Visit us to experience the diversity of our terroir and the depth of our wines.
840 Cherry Point Road • Cobble Hill • Cowichan
Gowlland Harbour Resort
Featured in National Geographic Travel’s ’50 Places of a Lifetime: Canada—Where to Eat and Drink’, our restaurant offers oceanfront dining, outdoor patio, two-story fireplace and an inspired food and wine menu for a memorable West Coast experience!
Quadra Island • North Central Island
Westwood Lake Bistro
We offer local and organic products in a peaceful lake side setting. The dining room is elegant and our patio overlooks the lake and Mt. Benson. The wine list offers local and global picks and is tightly edited to reflect value and accessibility.
Nanaimo • Central Island
The Grand Hotel Nanaimo
Home of the only whisk(e)y bar in Nanaimo featuring over 140 whiskies from around the world including Japan, India and Australia. Enjoy some of the world’s finest single malts. Our Grand Cru Restaurant also features an award winning wine list that includes some of B.C.’s finest wineries in addition to an array of international wines. Join us and enjoy a “wee” dram in our serene rock garden!
4898 Rutherford Road • Nanaimo • Central Island
Best Western – Tin Wis Resort Lodge
The BEST WESTERN Tin Wis Resort offers 85 guest rooms, all with an ocean view and convenient access to pristine Mackenzie Beach. All rooms are newly refurbished. Discover the Spirit of the ‘new’ Tin Wis Resort.
1119 Pacific Rim Highway • Tofino • Pacific Rim
Discover inspired wine, cider, spirits and beer crafters. Cheese, vinegar, bread & chocolate producers. Lavender growers and seafood harvesters. Coffee roasters and tea blenders. Find your favourites at our tasting rooms, farm markets & culinary festivals. From tapas on the dock in Ladysmith, the Salmon & Mushroom Festival in Lake Cowichan, the freshest seafood and award winning chowder in Cowichan Bay, outdoor kitchens and bistros in South Cowichan, traditional First Nations fare in Duncan or authentic global cuisine in Chemainus, the entire region appeals to the palate. Be sure to take in the Savour Cowichan Festival! Come and taste the spectacular beauty of Cowichan. Contact us today for your free […]
SouthEnd Farm Vineyards
Wines handcrafted on Quadra Island. Made from grapes true to our islands. Enjoy our picnic area and a glass of our wine. Look for open sign or check website for hours. Cheers!
Quadra Island • North Central Island
#ExploreNanaimo! Stop in at our Visitor Centre for directions to Nanaimo’s culinary experiences. twitter: @TourismNanaimo | facebook.com/TourismNanaimo
2450 Northfield Road • Nanaimo • Central Island
Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Nestled high above the thriving Comox Valley agri-tourism community, Mount Washington is a major contributer to popular festivals in the region during the summer months. Tapped Beer Festival and the popular Alpine Wind and Food Festival take place in July and August respectively. Combine your food journey with scenic alpine hiking or a Mile High Chairlift Ride. The resort offers superb accommodation options, on-mountain dining and views of Strathcona Provincial Park and Georgia Strait which are literally second to none. If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, Mount Washington is the perfect getaway for both couples and families looking for alpine adventure!
Mount Washington • North Central Island
Fished, foraged or plucked, eat fresh and eat well year-round in Tofino. Our flourishing food scene, with eclectic eateries, cafés and award-winning restaurants, is best enjoyed with a side of ocean mist.
Tofino • Pacific Rim
1-888-720-3414 or 250.725.3414
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