Photo credit: Buena uva,buen albariño (pre-veraison) by Miguel Ángel García. - Flickr: Buena uva,buen albariño.. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Buena_uva,buen_albari%C3%B1o_(pre-veraison).jpg#/media/File:Buena_uva,buen_albari%C3%B1o_(pre-veraison).jpg
A Day in Metro Vancouver Wine Country
Wine enthusiasts are well aware that B.C. wines can hold their own when it comes to quality. While many of the province’s most notable vineyards are located more than four hours from Vancouver, there are plenty of options for wine tasting and vineyard touring within easy driving distance of downtown Vancouver.
Pack a picnic and follow this itinerary for a day visiting some of Metro Vancouver’s charming communities and stellar wineries.
Important: Please be sure to designate a driver who is not wine tasting when driving between wineries.
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. 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.
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.
After lunch, head east to Langley in the Fraser Valley, about a 45 minute drive from Richmond. Your first stop should be at Vista D’Oro Farms. They offer a number of table wines, but what they’re best known for is their D’Oro fortified walnut wine—green walnuts are soaked in Okanagan brandy before being blended with red wine and spending 13 months on oak. The result is a complex port-style wine that is truly unique. While you’re here, check out their selection of homemade preserves in the Farmgate Market.
From here, Backyard Vineyards is a short drive. They good value wines made from both Fraser Valley grapes and those sourced from the Okanagan. A real stand-out is their Blanc de Noir Brut traditional method sparkling wine, made from 100 per cent pinot noir grapes. A little further along is Township 7 Vineyards. This winery has locations both in the Fraser Valley and in Naramata in the Okanagan, growing grapes and offering tasting rooms at each. You can taste through many of the winery’s wines here, but for a true taste of the Fraser Valley, get your hands on a bottle of their Seven Stars Sparkling wine, which is made with fruit from the Langley vineyard.
If you have time, travel further east to Abbotsford and visit Singletree Winery. This family-run winery offers four white wines made from Fraser Valley grapes, including a single-variety Siegerrebe, a white wines with aromatics similar to Gewürztraminer, and a rich body that pairs well with food.
On your way back to Vancouver, stop for dinner in Burnaby, which is approximately 45 minutes from either Township 7 or Singletree. Cap off an amazing day of wine tasting with a relaxing and elegant dinner at Hart House Restaurant, located in a heritage building on the shores of Deer Lake. Fill up on mouth-watering West Coast cuisine made from fresh, locally grown ingredients. Hop back in the car one last time — Vancouver is only a 25-minute drive away.