Cowichan Valley Wine Tour
We continue our Vancouver Island wine tour by crossing the Saanich Inlet on one of the smaller vessels in the BC Ferry fleet. After a 25 minute cruise there is a nice drive along the waterfront to Mill Bay. Travel a short distance north on Highway 1 then turn west on the Shawnigan Mill Bay Road. Follow this lovely country road before turning north on Cameron Taggart Road into the heart of Vancouver Island's wine country and the Unsworth Vineyard.
The Unsworth Vineyard produces some fantastic wines like their Pinot Gris which is already receiving awards and it's no wonder that the Vineyard's Allegro wine has been chosen the Wine of the Week at Vancouver's Four Seasons Hotel. There is always something going on here from wine tasting to cooking classes.
Up the road and around the corner is probably the most famous cidery on Vancouver Island, Merridale Ciderworks. Even if you don’t have a passion for cider you will enjoy the time you spent here. The tastings will surprise you as the shear variety of flavours is quite impressive. Our group couldn’t decide if we preferred Very Berry or Merri Berri. Perhaps more research is required. There may have been differing opinions as to which cider was the best but we all agreed that the pizzas Benny the Chef pulled from his outdoor brick oven were superlative.
We head back to Highway 1 and north to turn off on Kilmalu Road and then north on Telegraph Road. This has got to be one of our favourite country roads. In no time you will arrive at Enrico Winery and Vineyard. Open year round you can stroll through the vineyard before relaxing in the picnic area by the trout pond to enjoy a glass of Enrico's award winning wines.
Further north on our favourite country road you will find the Damali Vineyard and B&B. Their motto "Indulge your senses, savour the lifestyle" is aptly chosen. The once tired sheep farm has been transformed into a wholesome hive of activity nurturing fields of lavender, fruitful orchards, a vineyard, winery and licensed picnic area and boutique gift shop as well as a luxurious French style farmhouse B&B. Perhaps one of their visitors said it best: "A magical place" ~ We stayed at Damali and had a fabulous time. The house itself is stunning, the hosts are relaxed and welcoming, the breakfasts are delicious. We'd love to make a return trip to Vancouver Island and would definitely stay at Damali again."
We continue north to Cherry Point Road and head off to Cherry Point Estate Wines. This 24 acre vineyard is one of the first licensed wineries on Vancouver Island. The tasting room and wine shop are open everyday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Stop by the Amuse Bistro for a cuilinary delight. Everyone will enjoy dining in the rustic ambiance of grape vines, cedar trees, fresh sea air and a brick patio. In the autumn months our inside garden pavilion is quite cozy with a wood burning fireplace to make all of your dining experiences at Amuse on the Vineyard memorable!
Now's the time to drive further north to Cowichan Bay and the continuation of our Cowichan Valley Wine Tour
Check out this beautiful video Once Upon a Day in Cowichan Valley