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mrscanada Vancouver Island - A travel report by Lyla
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Vancouver Island,  Canada - flag Canada -  British Columbia
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mrscanada's travel reports

My Sideways

  19 votes
Page: 1 2
Can You Imagine They Grow Grapes For Wine On Vancouver Island?

The mild Pacific climate of Vancouver Island contributes to the overwhelming success of the production and cultivation of our wines.

A Vineyard
A Vineyard
All of the Island's wineries combined have about 1,000 acres of grapes under production. Only a few employ workers, (150 jobs),for the entire Island. Visitors who stretch out their stay can add an average $120 a day, according to Tourism Victoria. They produce Pinot Noir, Gamay and Marechal Foch red wines and Pinot Gris, Ortega and Bacchus in white wines. The Vineyards are Alderlea Vineyard, Averill Creek Winery Echo Valley Vineyards, Godfrey-Brownell Vineyards, Blue Grouse Vineyards and Vigneti Zanatta Winery at Duncan, the Chalet Estate Vineyard at North Saanich,the Chateau Wolff at Nanaimo, Merridale Estate Cidery Cowichan Bay, the Cherry Point Vineyards, Glenterra Vineyards and the Venturi Schulze Vineyards at Cobble Hill. In Victoria there is a lot of farmland and vineyards. We can visit the Marley Farm Winery, Victoria Estate Winery and the Winchester Cellars.

Favourite spots:
Entrance To A Vineyard
Entrance To A Vineyard
The first wine tour starts in the Cowichan Valley which is reached via the Trans Canada Highway or if the prospect of negotiating the steep Malahat, (thank goodness we were on a tour bus),. I’m sure the there were spectacular views from this high. The second tour begins at Mill Bay, at the Merridale Ciderworks, and then heads north to Cowichan Bay / Cobble Hill and the Cherry Point Vineyards. Cherry Point offers guided tours three times a day that provide an in-depth look at grape growing and wine making at a farm winery. Next stop is Venturi-Schulze Vineyards and the nearby Blue Grouse Vineyards. Follow the Wine Route markers, it is a fifteen-minute drive north to the southern end of the city of Duncan and Echo Valley Vineyards, Godfrey Brownell Vineyards and Zanatta Winery. Just north of the city is Alderlea Vineyards. A half-hour drive north to Nanaimo is the Chateau Wolff Vineyard, and the northernmost tip of the Island’s wine growing region.

What's really great:
Camp Site
Camp Site
Before you taste any wine eat a little piece of bread. Between each wine eat more bread. To appreciate a wine's color, hold your wineglass at an angle against a white surface. Clarity is important. To distinguish a wine's aroma, fill your wine glass no more than half full and gently swirl your glass to allow your wine to breath for 15 seconds and then smell it again. You will notice a big difference in the smell. Just that small amount of oxygenating the wine opens up the flavor immensely. Some people like to use a decanter at home. I just pour from the bottle. That is why it is so important to let wine breathe. This is also why so many wine connoisseurs constantly swirl their glass of wine. This releases the fragrance of the wine and allows you to sniff the different aroma's or the nose. A wine expert doesn't drink the wine he spits it out. I'm no expert!!!

B & B
B & B
It's been very dry all year so you won't be able to have a campfire.

Find out what type of storms could happen at the time of year you're going camping.Take a battery powered VHF-FM radio and listen to it often. Storms can happen suddenly so be prepare. If you are with small children tell them what is going to happen.

When I lived in Edmonton 3 Tornados happened without any warning. In Victoria we have earthquakes and hurricanes.

Inside The B & B
Inside The B & B
There are B & Bs, cute cabins or campgrounds if you want to stay longer.

I saw a campground with luxury tents, (the bathroom is out side behind a high fence with flowers on the top of the fence. They even have an Italian restaurant!!!

B & B's have become so popular that in many places, (i.e. San Francisco), they cost more thank a hotel room.

If you know someone in the area you are going to ask them. If you don't ask the Tourist Board in the area to second you some botchers. You might want to ask them for recommendations.

Most serve breakfast but some times they mean coffee/tea and toast.

Roasting Marshmallows
Roasting Marshmallows
The only restaurants are at the Vineyards. B & B's only serve breakfast unless you make other arrangements.

I suggest you go to a market and by some food to have a cook out.

Children love to roast marshmallows on a stick over a fire, (just remember to put the fire out after you have finished. I dip mine in Bailey's Irish Liqueur!!!

Other recommendations:
A Storm
A Storm

Hail size of a nickel or , winds up 90 km or more, rain 50 mm of rain in less than one hour, thunderstorms always have lightning or a Tornado, (one or more).

If you are caught outside and it is not possible to find shelter in a building or vehicle, go deep into a stand of trees and find the lowest-lying area. Crouch down and protect your head. Do not lie flat, as this increases your chances of being struck by lightning.

Published on Saturday August 26th, 2006

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Sat, Sep 16 2006 - 01:55 AM rating by dorischua

Interesting report indeed... I must visit Vancouver island some time!

Tue, Aug 29 2006 - 02:44 AM rating by marianne

very interesting and some great pics

Sun, Aug 27 2006 - 03:47 PM rating by mistybleu

Lyla, another good report; I especailly like the 'storm' picture.


Sun, Aug 27 2006 - 10:23 AM rating by bootlegga

A very interesting take on Vancouver island! Great pics (the lightning especailly)!

Sat, Aug 26 2006 - 05:49 PM rating by karlakern

A pleasure read it! You are very sensitive... =) Nice.

Sat, Aug 26 2006 - 01:15 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Very didactic report. Thank you

Sat, Aug 26 2006 - 11:00 AM rating by st.vincent

I would never have imagined Canada as a wine producer. Now that you have told us the secrets of wine tasting I must try to find a bottle !!

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