I recently took a trip to Victoria to celebrate one of my good friends Bachelorette and of course, we had wine tastings on our itinerary!
A perfect little getaway, less than 2 hours outside of Vancouver, Victoria is home to British Columbia’s parliament, but has unique wineries, distilleries and breweries in and around the capital city.
We hired a private tour company, Golf Central Tours, to drive us to and from the wineries we hand selected to visit. I highly recommend trying to build your own tour that suits your needs and timelines as some tour companies will only take you to their preferred stops and only give you a certain amount of time to visit.
We decided to start the tour at the stunning Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, which is a family-owned orchard and ciderhouse, making delicious, award-winning cider with organic apples. With over 15 products to try on their tasting list, you could spend quite a bit of time here. We decided to taste 3 different ciders- Pipins, a New England style cider, Bramble Bubbly, a blackberry dry sparkling cider and Rumrunner, aged in rum-soaked bourbon barrels. The ciderhouse has incredible views of the orchard and in the horizon, you can see trees that lead to the ocean. We packed a massive cooler full of charcuterie items and built our own picnic on their patio. It was the perfect location for lunch as you can bring in your own food (or purchase off their menu) and buy cider by the bottle.
Then, we took a 10 minute drive to Vancouver Island’s largest and most popular winery, Church and State Winery. They are well known for their “mouthy” Lost Inhibition wine labels but also has a delicious bistro which features fresh menu items using all local ingredients. Here, we tasting their 2014 Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir- the only Vancouver Island wines on their menu. I also love their Trebella, which is a unique blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. Following our tasting, we brought some blankets and grabbed a few bottles of their Cabernet Franc Rose, and headed to the top of the hill and incredible viewpoint of vineyards for an hour. The best spot for premium pictures!
Finally, our last stop was at the very intimate and comfortable Symphony Vineyards. They offer tastings either inside or outside on their patio which is surrounded by beautiful flowers. All of their wines are 100% are local and from Saanich. One of our favourite wines we tasted all day is the Ortega, which tasted like juicy white peaches- a perfect patio wine!
So, it’s that easy! Next time you plan a trip to Victoria, be sure to include at least 1 day of wine tours and arrange it all on your own using our helpful tips:
- Hire a private shuttle
- Pre-arrange tastings with each winery to ensure they can accommodate your group
- Pack a light picnic or build your own charcuterie platter
- Bring lots of water and snacks
- Have fun