A Day in BC Wine Country

okanagan grapes

Connoisseurs know that BC wines can hold their own when it comes to quality. Some of the province’s most notable vineyards are located more than four hours from Vancouver, but there are plenty of options for wine tasting and vineyard touring located within easy driving distance of downtown.

Pack a picnic and follow this itinerary for a day visiting some of BC’s quaint towns and stellar wineries.

Important: Please be sure to designate a driver who is not wine tasting when driving between wineries.

Morning

Start the day by driving down to Lulu Island Winery, located about 25 minutes south of Vancouver in the historic fishing town of Richmond. The largest winery in Richmond, it produces a wide range of red and white table wines and fruit wines. Try something refreshing like the crisp sauvignon blanc or the gewürztraminer. The latter touts a bouquet of lychee and passion fruit. Lulu Island Winery also produces both white and red ice wines, so dessert lovers should make sure to stock up on a bottle or two of these sweet delights before moving on.

Midday

Drive less than 10 minutes to Richmond Nature Park, where you can enjoy a picnic among flowering gardens, ponds and various species of birds. The Nature House interpretive centre features a small gift shop and interactive nature displays.

Afternoon

After lunch, head down to the town of Surrey, which is about 30 minutes from Richmond. There, you’ll find River’s Bend Winery, a six-hectare (15-acre) vineyard and winery located on idyllic farmland near the Serpentine River. Step into the ranch-style tasting room, where you can sample the 2006 Black Horse — a robust blend of Syrah, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc — among other varietals. Pick up bottle of River Bend’s award-winning 2007 Nouveau, a red-grape blend that boasts bright cherry flavors and notes of pepper.

Afterward, drive approximately 30 minutes to Township 7 Vineyards & Winery, located just south of downtown Langley. Take in the picturesque scenery and perfectly lined up vines heavy with pinot noir, merlot and chardonnay grapes. Between its Langley and Okanagan Valley vineyards, Township 7 offers an extensive range of high-quality wines; while you’re there, don’t miss the dry, Provence-style rosé, produced entirely with grapes grown at the Langley vineyard.

For one last wine stop on the way back to Vancouver, continue north for about 10 minutes to Neck of the Woods Winery. Swish a taste of the Blanc de Noir Brut, the only estate-bottled sparkling wine in Fraser Valley, which is made from 100 per cent pinot noir grapes.

Evening

On your way back to Vancouver, stop for dinner in Burnaby, which is approximately 45 minutes from Neck of the Woods Winery. Cap off an amazing day of wine tasting with a relaxing and elegant dinner at Hart House Restaurant, quaintly located on the banks of Duck Lake. Fill up on mouthwatering West Coast cuisine, made from fresh, locally grown ingredients. (Tip: The Salt Spring Island mussels and the Yarrow Meadows duck breast with roasted beets are unbeatable.) Hop back in the car one last time — Vancouver is only a 25-minute drive away.


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