November 28, 2005 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Duncan - Dining
About 30 minutes drive from Victoria
is the Cowichan Valley
, a region which is becoming known as a mecca of food and wine production. As my in-laws live in Cobble Hill, my husband and I often spend time in the area. We've spent many weekends bombing around the backroads, searching out unique nooks and crannies. Over the years, we've developed our list of "must-stops" for every visit. On the top of the list is Merridale Cider
, which is the only estate producer of sparkling hard apple cider in the province. Their not-too-sweet ciders are worth seeking out, and we usually buy a supply to take home with us. They recently opened a bistro on premises, which is a fantastic place for lunch. There's nothing I like better than their "ploughman's lunch" of cheeses and bread, accompanied by a chilled glass of cider, while overlooking the orchard. There's a number of wonderful, small wineries in the area too. My mother-in-law favors Glenterra's "Brio" as her house white, and it's a perfect summer sipper. Nearby Venturi Schulze
winery produces wines that are a real treat, and we always ensure we have a ready stock of their "Millefiori" on hand. Winter might be approaching but the Cowichan is has the mild temperatures of Southern Vancouver Island that rarely drops below freezing. I'm looking forward to a couple days in the Cowichan soon.