Vancouver and Bellingham Washington Wineries
Traveling to Canada, and most specifically the Vancouver area, you can visit a host of vineyards. Yearly in February Vancouver hosts a spectacular wine event for five days, with this year’s featuring numerous Italians, both reds and white.
Vancouver area itself has 14 wineries or wine tours. Starting with a progressive dining experience, the great area of Gastown in downtown Vancouver, you can feast your way along on a foodie tour for 4 hours. $110 per person, limited to 8 people, you move from one great restaurant to another and sample unlimited amounts of “Canadian” foods, along with the correct wine with each dish.
Frazier Valley, an hour east of Vancouver, has many small wineries which are all family run. The Gulf Islands, B.C. has Chateau Beaufort Vineyards, which produce 15 tons of grapes yearly, enough for 1,000 cases. They host great tastings if you happen to stop in. On Saturna Island down the way is Saturna Island Family Estates with sixty acres with four separate vineyards to sample from. Salt Spring Vineyards produces 2,500 cases a year of absolutely superb wine, winning many awards. All of these wineries participate in the February event. One more in Salt Springs is the Mistaken Identity Vineyards. They are relatively new, opening in 2009 with a partnership of six people. They have branched out at a great pace and currently are producing 10 wines. I would plan a full four days to visit all of these between Canada and Bellingham, Washington. The dollar is currently 33% in our favor making a trip very inexpensive right now.
If you are flying into Bellingham, 30 miles south of Vancouver, and driving into Canada, be sure to stop at some of the 9 boutique wineries or the 9 breweries. Flights roundtrip into Bellingham run around $200. Rent your car and head out to the Asian Brewing Company, a great microbrewery, with all organic beer. If you have a whole afternoon, book The Pedal Party. It is a group tour visiting Bellingham’s best breweries and tap houses all done on a giant covered bike. These are fast popping up all over the country. The bike tour has room for up to 14 of you and your 13 closest friends, or meet new ones as you travel. The Samson Estates Winery is a great tasting room, with artisan wines, dessert wines and chocolate truffles. Log on to whatcomwineries.com to get a list of all the great spots to stop. Enjoy the beautiful areas and come home with new taste experiences.