It makes my palate tingle just writing this but there are more than two dozen wineries and vineyards located in the Vancouver Island region. Many are in the Cowichan Valley, in communities such as Cobble Hill, Duncan and Lake Cowichan, and the Saanich Peninsula, near Sidney by the Sea, on Vancouver Island, as well as the southern Gulf Islands. The Vancouver Island wine trail extends up island to Courtenay and Denman and Hornby Islands. Lower Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands boast some of the warmest growing regions in Canada. A variety of microclimates exist enabling several of the island wineries to produce award winning wines. Often the wineries are small and family owned. They work to craft excellent, low volume wines for local restaurants and on site sale. Most are not available in stores, but visitors are welcome and frequently rave about their finds.
If a spring visit to Vancouver Island is in your plans be sure to talk to a local BC Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Guild member for insider information about the hidden winemaker treasures. You’ll find some of the world’s best cool climate grapes here as well as a great diversity of unique vinyards. Many delicious fruit wines and ciders are also produced here, and you will find many local wines at some of the finest restaurants anywhere!