Grape news from Victoria

May 30th, 2013 by Martin Vernon

According to Wines of British Columbia there are over 200 wineries in BC who have won over 2,000 medals in national and international competitions. Is that a surprise? Probably, but the fast growing BC wines industry is maturing fast. Over 60 varieties of grapes are grown here, mostly at small family-run wineries whose owners are proud to share the results of their labours with you.

Victoria BC wines

Victoria BC wines

We have noticed a significant upsurge of interest in Victoria BC wines from our B&B guests in recent years. Part of the vacation experience lies in tasting local meats, cheeses, breads, fruit, vegetables and, most of all, wines. New vineyards are opening up in the Victoria area here on the Saanich Peninsula every year. For example, on one short country road alone there are three vineyards and a distillery. All offer tastings and the opportunity to take away a bottled souvenir or three. Some are a delightful setting for lunch, offering local foods too.

Even if you do not tour our vineyards many of our local restaurants have a sommelier on their staff who can guide your palate for Victoria BC wines as well as international selections.

BC wines - Saanich Peninsula Vineyards

Saanich Peninsula vineyards

This is not difficult to imagine: it’s a pleasantly sunny day and you set off for a day exploring Saanich Peninsula vineyards and much more. You’re driving through backroads in rolling countryside with farms and woodland, hills and valleys, coasts and lakes. Your bed and breakfast hosts have helped you plan an approximate route plan (you’ll get lost but that’s OK, it’s only a small peninsula) to visit Victoria vineyards, a cidery (we have the perfect climate), artisan studios and small communities.

You might combine your tour with visits to The Butchart Gardens or the Gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, the Centre of the Universe at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Butterfly Gardens, wander in the “book town” of Sidney, take a hike, stroll on a beach or laze by a lake.

Don’t forget to stop at farm stands along the way to enjoy Saanich Peninsula produce – maybe take away a punnet or two of fresh berries to nourish you on your tour. On a separate drive west past Sooke you may even encounter a meadery producing honey wines.

If you prefer not to drive yourself select a guided wine tour of either the Saanich Peninsula or the Cowichan Valley (a little way “up” Vancouver Island). Several companies offer these with a full day tour being a little over $100.

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