Vancouver Island Wineries
Our wineries are rich in history, soil, sunshine, and of course the educated passion of our local owners. With the end of prohibition on Vancouver Island in the early 1920’s our local wine industry was born. From the first tiny little winery on Quadra Street in downtown Victoria, to the acres and acres of carefully cultivated vines we grow today, wine has a deep history on our Island. The first wineries established used the succulent Loganberry grown on the Saanich Peninsula, their juice, producing a “port class” of wine. By the late 1920’s a local downtown Victoria hotel converted to a winery began paying top dollar to import grapes from the Okanagan, British Columbia. As the decades passed vines matured and grape varieties planted that thrive in our local conditions. As more and more wineries began opening the growers formed The Vancouver Island Grape Growers Association in the late 1990’s. There are more than 20 current members and they forecast there will be over 50 thriving wineries in the coming years. There is a certain seduction of growing grapes in “marginal” conditions and winning awards of excellence with the fruits of your labour.
Many of our wineries are true to the vines they have cultivated on their own properties, others create mixed varieties from several BC growing areas, and there is even resurgence in the berry wines. Your trip to Victoria will certainly entertain all your senses! Whether you hop in the car and create your own tour or take one of the Souther Vancouver Islands van tours we know you will enjoy the quality of our wines. You can taste the passion of our wine making industry, it just keeps getting better.
British Columbia’s wines are taking the world stage winning more awards every year. For the assurance of premium quality standards the late 1980’s saw the formation of our VQA program. The Vintners Quality Assurance seal is awarded to British Columbia’s superior wines, an assurance to the consumer of a standard in wine excellence. For a wine to be granted this prestigious VQA seal of excellence the standards met are; quality of production, content, varietal percentage, appellation, and vintage.
We are taking the world stage with award winning wines! When was the last time you tasted Canadian wine? Visit our wineries or our British Columbia Liquor Stores and select your next bottle from our wide selection of VQA winners.
WINERIES OF OUR REGION
Victoria Estate Winery
- An international wine medal list approaching 175
- Von Krosigk is one of Canada’s elite wine makers
- daily wine tours
- authentic Mediterranean Deli with a seasonally inspired tapas menu
- the only Viticulture Centre on Vancouver Island.
- self sustaining boutique winery producing quality, hand crafted, and award winning wines
- Bistro Muse, local inspired creations, outside seating next to the vineyard, limited indoor
- strict organic farming practices and never add sulfates to the wine.
- wines are only available at the winery and at a few select local restaurants
- formerly Chalet Estate Winery
Starling Lane Winery
- grapes varieties and wine styles suited to the Saanich Peninsula since the early 1990’s.
- hand crafted small lots of award winning wines
Church & State Wines
- more than 30 awards at various international wine ratings
- 11 acres in Saanich and 60 acres in Oliver BC
- aged in real French Oak barrels
- main production facility moved to Oliver
- tasting room and tours offered on the Island
Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse
critically acclaimed traditionally fermented ciders
made from over 40 varieties of organic apples grown on the farm.
Less than an hour’s drive from Victoria BC, you will find the gently rolling countryside of the South Cowichan Valley. There are many award-winning wineries and a cidery to discover, some offer complimentary tours and tastings. The bonus of this leisurely drive through the region’s lush hills. are the sights of our coastal and countryside communities. Enjoy quick tours of Mill Bay, Shawinigan Lake, Cobble Hill and Cowichan Bay.
Grab a map of the wine route or enjoy a guided tour, either way there are treats to be had for all you senses. Watch for the annual festival, “Wines of the Island” in the first week in September.
Plan a day trip to Salt Spring Island, visit two wineries and experience a taste of the alluring lifestyle this magical hideaway enjoys. A famous enclave of gifted artists, musicians, and writers, enjoy a self guided tour of the many studios open for viewing. Pick up a new pottery wine glass from your favorite artist studio!
Salt Spring Vineyards, 151 Lee Road at the 1800 block Fulford Ganges Road
Garry Oaks Winery, 1880 Fulford-Ganges Road.
Saturna Island Vineyards is situated at the side of a soaring sandstone and granite cliff on the edge of the ocean, with a magnificent view to southern Gulf Islands nearby. There are sixty acres of vines under cultivation in four designated vineyards, which makes
Saturna Island Vineyards one of the largest estate vineyard and winery operations in the province.
Plan your ferry travel for Salt Spring and Saturna Islands check the ferry schedule.
Maybe your trip to Victoria will give you the opportunity to discover what BC wines have to offer!
For more information on our Award winning Canadian Wine Industry we hope you find these sites helpful.