Destination BC/Andrea Johnson

Garry Oaks Vineyard & Winery

 

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Planning your BC Wine Tour
Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands There’s a long history of winemaking on Vancouver Island, stretching back to 1920 when loganberries were used to produce the earliest bottles. In the 1980s, the region took advantage of a government-funded trial to transition to grape-growing, but ciders and fruit wines are still very popular products, as are mead, craft beer and spirits. Although located on the coast, Vancouver and the Gulf Islands have microclimate pockets that enjoy plenty of sunshine. Wineries in the Cowichan Valley, for example, get protected from ocean storms by adjacent mountains, yet their proximity to the sea extends the growing season due to the low risk of frost. Wines on the Gulf Islands are made on Salt Spring, Pender, Saturna Quadra, Gabiola, Hornby, Denman. The wineries are small, quaint mom and pop-style operations and echo the artistic laid-back vibe of the islands where the boho lifestyle thrives. Regional Notes: • Access to the Gulf Islands is by ferry or float plane. Travel to Vancouver is by ferry or air • Proximity to the ocean means outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy whale-watching, deep sea fishing, kayaking, sailing • Vancouver Island is anchored by the city of Victoria, a historical and heritage rich seaside community and the capital of British Columbia • Known for agritourism, there are plenty of farm tours and farmers’ markets • Victoria has a large ornamental garden • Only a few hundred residents live on some islands • Unique ecosystems include Garry oak growth forest, sandstone formations • Food scene focuses on regional, seasonal fare with a strong push toward organic ingredients • There are more than 60 golf courses on Vancouver and the Gulf Islands Approximate Number of Wineries: 32 Primary Varieties: Pinot Noir, Marechal Foch, Pinot Gris, Ortega, Siegerrebe First Winery: 1992