Looking for a relaxing, yet pleasurable getaway with friends and guests this season? Then, head north to Cowichan Valley wine country! Cowichan Valley is often referred to as the “Napa of the North”. The word Cowichan means ‘land warmed by the sun’ or ‘the warm land’ in the First Nations Coast Salish language. It’s Canada’s only maritime Mediterranean climatic zone. The warmest average year-round temperatures and longest growing season in the country, abundant sunshine, consistent rainfall and rich soils has, in recent years, made Cowichan Valley one of the best wine producing regions in British Columbia, second only to the Okanagan Valley
Most Cowichan wineries are open all year round to meander, sip and enjoy, not just in the summer when the sun is shining. The countryside is always glorious and wine tasting is an indoor experience. No need to drive yourself! Let someone else do the driving by booking a guided tour around the region’s wineries. Safe transport and custom, value-added tours are available for any size group. The more the merrier! Cowichan tours are family and pet-friendly—as are all the wineries, too. So, whether you’re a wine connoisseur or still developing your palette, this region’s unique wineries are a not-to-be-missed destination on Vancouver Island.
1.Averill Creek Vineyards, Duncan
Established in 2001. 40 acres. 1,400 vines currently planted on the southern slopes of Mount Provost. Signature wines are Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Maréchal Foch, Foch Cabernet, Cabernet Libre, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.
2. Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard, Duncan
Established in 1990. 31 acres. Owned by Cowichan Tribes. Award-winning signature wines include Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Siegerrebe. Coastal Red and White blends.
3. Cherry Point Estate Wines, Cobble Hill
Established in 1989. 31 acres. Signature wines include Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Bacchus, Ortega, Black Muscat, Muller-Thurgau.
4. Damali Lavender & Winery, Cobble Hill
Established in 2010. Signature wines include blends of fruit, grape and lavender wines grown at the farm.
5. Divino Estate Winery, Cobble Hill
Established in 1996. 40 acres. 40-year tradition of wine making. Signature wines include Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Castel, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio.
6. Enrico Wineries, Mill Bay
Established in 2010. Signature wines are Pinot Grigio, Ortega, Cabernet Libre, Cabernet Foch.
7. Merridale Estate Cidery & Brandihouse, Cobble Hill
Established in 1980s. 20 acres. Signature ciders include Traditional and House Craft cider varieties.
8. Rocky Creek Winery, Cowichan Bay
Established in 2004. 10 acres. Third generation, award-winning wine makers. Signature wines include Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Wild Blackberry, TLC – White blend, Robin`s Rose, On the Mark – Red blend. Katherine`s Sparkle.
9. Silverside Farm Winery, Cobble Hill
Established in 1982. 40 acres. Specialties include Raspberry, Blueberry and Blackberry wines, jams, jellies and syrups.
10. Unsworth Vineyards, Mill Bay
Established in 1982. 12 acres planted in Foch and Blattner. Signature wines include Blattner and port-style wines, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Cab Merlot, and signature blends.
11. Venturi-Schulze Vineyards, Cobble Hill
Established in 1988. 20 acres. Signature wines include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Auxerrois, Madeleine Sylvaner, Siegerrebe, Schönburger, Ortega and Kerner. Also, make outstanding Balsamic Vinegar.
12. Vigneti Zanatta Winery and Vineyards, Duncan
Established in 1988, Vancouver Island’s first estate winery. 25 acres planted in vines that include Ortega, Cayuga, Auxerrois, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Nero, Muscat, Merlot, Madeleine X Sylvaner.
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