Fairholme’s Favourite Vineyards
Southern Vancouver Island is the second largest wine region in British Columbia, with mild maritime weather and a Mediterranean-like growing season. Most vineyards are located in the Cowichan Valley, just 45 minutes north of Victoria, and offer year-round tours and tastings. Here are some of our favourites:
Cherry Point Estate
Cherry Point sits on 34 acres of rolling, fertile hills a few miles south of Cowichan Bay. They’re the second largest vineyard on Vancouver Island, with 24 acres of carefully-tended, award-winning vinifera grapes. They grow ten main varieties and eight limited varieties, including Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Ortega, Agria and Gewurztraminer. Cherry Point’s tasting room, art gallery, patio, picnic grounds and self-guided walking tours are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Their west-coast inspired bistro is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Blue Grouse Estate
Situated on a 31-acre farm in the heart of the Cowichan Valley, Blue Grouse is one of the founding vineyards of Vancouver Island. They’re a family-owned and operated business, with all wine grown, produced and bottled on site. The vines are grown on the sunniest slopes of the Cowichan Valley—an exceptional site that doesn’t require irrigation or fertilization. All of the grapes and tended and harvested by hand, resulting in high-quality character wines such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Ortega and Gamay Noir, which was first grown and produced by Blue Grouse. Until September, Blue Grouse is open for tasting and sales Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.