• Southern Vancouver Island Wine Tour

    July 6, 2009

    Mal and I picked the perfect day for a wine tour: cloudy and rainy. To be honest, we were bummed about the weather, but we figured that riding around visiting vineyards and tasting wine wasn’t a terrible way to spend a rainy day.


    Our moods instantly improved when a huge stretch limo picked us up for the wine tour. What a fun surprise!

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    Godfrey-Brownell Vineyards

    The first stop of the wine tour was at the Godfrey-Brownell Vineyards, which is situated about an hour north of Victoria in the heart of the Cowichan Valley. The 18-acre vineyard uses natural methods to fertilize it grapes, plus no pesticides or herbicides. The wine-making process also uses the most natural, non-interventionist methods possible.


    At Godfrey-Brownell, we tried a number of wine whites (Bacchus, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris) as well as some reds (Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir and Maréchal Foch). All delicious.


    My favorite was a 2003 Pinot Noir Reserve, which was smooth and elegant.



    Zanatta Winery and Vineyards

    Our next stop was the Zanatta Winery and Vineyards. Also located in the Cowichan Valley, the winery is part of a 120-acre farm. Thirty of those acres are grape vines, while the remainder is farm pasture, hay fields, forest, and old fruit orchards.

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    At this winery, we tasted Ortega, Cayuga, Auxerrois, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, and Madeleine X Sylvaner. The vineyard also has at least 30 different varieties for experimental purposes or for limited specialty wines– varieties such as Castel, Leon Millot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, Siegerrebe. I had never heard of most of these varieties!

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    After the second vineyard, we enjoyed a 3-course lunch with the group.


    The first course was shrimp with a mango salsa and kale on the side. Delicious!


    The main course was grilled salmon with risotto, grilled veggies, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.


    I especially liked the risotto, which was creamy and mixed with mini shrimp and green pepper.


    Before dessert was served, we tasted a raspberry dessert wine, which was much too sweet for my liking, but I’m glad that I tried it.


    Dessert was a delightful chocolate mousse with white shaved chocolate, chocolate syrup, and a strawberry and mint garnish.


    I pretty much devoured it! :mrgreen:


    Cherry Point Vineyards

    After lunch, we visited Cherry Point Vineyards.


    The vineyard at Cherry Point was established in 1990 when the founders purchased 34 acres on a former mink ranch a few miles south of Cowichan Bay. Today the 24-acre vineyard is the second largest on Vancouver Island.



    Cherry Point has 10 main varieties and 8 limited varieties of wine, including Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Pinot Noir, Agria, Ortega, Seigerrebe, and Castel.





    Mal really loved the Cherry Point Pinot Gris and purchased a bottle to drink in the limo. My husband knows how to vacation! ;-)


    Silverside Farm & Winery

    Silverside Farm is a unique winery producing raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry wines.


    It’s also a beautiful farm!

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    All of the wines at Silverside were incredibly sweet– a number of which were fruity, full-flavored ports. Surprisingly, I liked them a lot!


    A piece of chocolate between sips was the perfect compliment!

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    Mal and Maggie became friends fast! ;-)


    Blue Grouse Vineyards

    The final stop of our wine tour was at the Blue Grouse Vineyards, which may have been the prettiest vineyard of the day. I snapped so many pics there!



    Blue Grouse is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery established as one of the founding Estates wineries of Vancouver Island.

    Blue Grouse’s wine include a number of varieties:

    • Wines: Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau, Ortega, Pinot Gris, and Siegerrebe
    • Reds: Black Muscat, Gamay Noir, and Pinot Noir






    What a gorgeous vineyard! I could not snapping photos!

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    What an amazing wine tour! It’s definitely an experience that I will never forget!

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    { 31 comments… read them below or add one }

    jenna July 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    wow!! It sounds like you had the best time!! The food and vineyards look amazing! You’ve inspired me to look into a wine tour! :)


    Cait (Cait's Plate) July 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    that looked like so much fun! and you look so cute and fit in your pink tank top!!

    Plus – chocolate mousse with white shaved chocolate, chocolate syrup, and a strawberry and mint garnish!? HOLY YUM!


    Missy (Missy Maintains) July 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Sounds like a great tour! The 3 course meal looks amazing-especially the chocolate mousse! Everything is so pretty!


    Becca July 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    You have just made me want to go wine tasting soooo baaaaaaad. Looks like a fabulous time in lots of beautiful vineyards. Yum yum yum.


    Marianne July 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Oooh, I’ve been to the first 3 wineries, and I think I might have purchased bottles from all 3. Did you try the blackberry port at Cherry Point? I loved that one! Yum!


    Christie @ Quit Your Diet July 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Great recaps! Awesome pictures, too!


    Jennifer July 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    You are such a pretty lady! I also didn’t realize until I looked at these pics that you’re my height (5’4″ right?)


    Tina July 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    @Jennifer: Yep. I’m sort of short.


    amy (veganissexy) July 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Wonderful recap of the Vancouver wineries. We have done the Yakima, WA trip almost a dozen times….you HAVE to try those wineries on your next NW adventure! My hubby and I love to go wine tasting, so Vancouver and Portland are next on our to do list! Thanks for the ideas and inspiration!


    Shannon (The Daily Balance) July 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    great recap, i LOVE the photos! The chocolate mousse? heaven!


    brandi July 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    wow, they’re all beautiful! i love that he bought a bottle for the limo :)


    Rachel July 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    All of the pictures from this post are frame worthy! What a fun trip!

    BTW I didn’t comment on the last post but you’re apartment is too cute. Mine is 675 sq. ft. too but it’s just me so it’s not TOO bad!


    Kelly July 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    That looks amazing. My boyfriend and I are eventually planning to travel to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia and you can bet there will be a lot of wine drinking and cheese sampling.


    Leah July 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    That all looks so amazing! I am so jealous!


    Simone July 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    These are the times when I wish I could drink wine :( (I am allergic to grapes)
    It just looks like so much fun!…Plum wine anyone?!?


    Kelsey July 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    sounds like an awesome trip!


    K July 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    So many vineyards, so little time ;) That would be such a fun experience!!


    Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now July 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    That sounds like such an amazing experience.


    Sues July 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Looks like so much fun! I went to a few places in the Dartmouth, MA area and Rhode Island last week and it was sooo nice. Too bad the weather wasn’t a bit nicer!


    Robin July 6, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I’m so jealous!! I’m actually planning to go to the BC interior in September for my 30th birthday and do some wine tasting and tours. Can’t wait now after seeing your pictures!


    Meghan@traveleatlove July 6, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Great photos! I LOVE going on wine tours! We have gone on them in Italy, New England, NY, and OR but never in Van Couver. I am dying to go there!


    emily July 6, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    That looks like a great day! It seems like you always do the best wine-related activities.


    Paige July 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    You and Mal do such fun things. Looks like you guys had a blast! And you know what they say…Wine drinkers make grape loves! haha… wow I’m a dork!


    Paige July 6, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    You and Mal do such fun things. Looks like you guys had a blast! And you know what they say…Wine drinkers make grape lovers! haha… wow I’m a dork!


    Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) July 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Sounds like a great day!


    Caroline July 7, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Wow, they get major points for presentation!


    MarathonVal July 7, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Yet again, I am crazy jealous of your fun vacationing! Looks like you had a blast!


    Leanne July 7, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Great Vancouver Island vacation recaps. What is the name of the wine tour you took? My husband & I will be out there in two weeks and I’d love to go on this same wine tour. Thanks.


    Jenn September 21, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    This wine tour no longer exists, the wine tour portion of the company went under mid-August ’09! There were a lot of complaints about it actually.


    Limo Vancouver October 12, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Hei man its an amazing tour photography.Limo Vancouver


    Kali March 7, 2012 at 1:14 am

    I hope you don’t mind that I lick the dessert plate clean for you! That looked like such an amazing trip. I live in Washington and there are quite a few vineyards up north and I just never think to take a wine tour. I do believe you have changed my mind. I am enjoying a nice glass of wine while reading this and have become inspired! Thank you!


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