June 09, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Duncan, Wineries & Vineyards
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Recently myself and a small group of friends headed to the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island for a small tour of exploring and imbibing the wines of "the warm land".
We started the day with breakfast at Whippletree Junction and hunted for bargains in the nearby antique shops, set in charming restored buildings from the early 1900s. Next stop was Cherry Point Estate Wines, for incredible mussels paired with pinot gris, followed by a tasting in the wine shop with Xavier Bonilla, the friendly owner of the winery. There were crisp ciders to sample at Merridale’s lovely cidery in Cobble Hill and it was hard to resist wandering the sunny orchards afterwards. We finished with refreshing gelato and organic chocolate at Organicfair farm and turned our tour into an overnight trip by camping at Gordon Bay Provincial Park on Cowichan Lake. Sipping our Merridale Scrumpy Ciders next to a campfire under the tall Douglas firs was a great way to end the day.
Next time I head to the Cowichan Valley, I’ll tour via bicycle and make sure to try lunch in the 1903 farmhouse at Zanatta Winery and Vinoteca or maybe time my visit with the annual Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival.