• 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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

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    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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    Lunch

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

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

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

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

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    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.

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

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    I pretty much devoured it! :mrgreen:

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    Cherry Point Vineyards

    After lunch, we visited Cherry Point Vineyards.

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    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.

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    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.

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

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    Silverside Farm & Winery

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

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    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!

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    A piece of chocolate between sips was the perfect compliment!

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    Mal and Maggie became friends fast! ;-)

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    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!

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    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

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    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! :)

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    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!

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    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!

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    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.

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    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!

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

    Great recaps! Awesome pictures, too!

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    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?)

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    Tina July 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm

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

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    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!

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

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

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    brandi July 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm

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

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    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!

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    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.

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    Leah July 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    That all looks so amazing! I am so jealous!

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    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?!?

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    Kelsey July 6, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    sounds like an awesome trip!

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    K July 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm

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

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

    That sounds like such an amazing experience.

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    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!

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    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!

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    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!

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    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.

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    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!

    Reply

    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!

    Reply

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

    Sounds like a great day!

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    Caroline July 7, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Wow, they get major points for presentation!

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    MarathonVal July 7, 2009 at 1:53 am

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    Limo Vancouver October 12, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Hei man its an amazing tour photography.Limo Vancouver

    Reply

    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!

    Reply

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