Soren – Exploring the West Coast

Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!

IMG_6501In the summer my family went for a long, windy car ride to BIG beaches on the west coast!  We saw lots of things on the way, BIG trees, birds, cows, lakes, nice people, more trees and then the OCEAN.  When we got out of the car I headed straight for the water.  Waves crashing, big waves, little waves and sand everywhere. We climbed on rocks, we dug big holes, and found funny little animals scurrying across the sand.  I love the sand in my toes, no shoes here just soft sand and LOTS of space to run. I didn’t want to go but mommy said I had to have a nap. I’m a big boy now so I don’t think I need I naps, but mommy disagrees.IMG_6612  I would like to live at the beach, I think that would be a good idea.

The next day we went on walks.  I can walk really far, daddy only had to carry me a couple of times to keep up with mommy and baby.   Everywhere we go there’s new things to see and touch.  My favourite was the star animals – I squealed the first time I touched them but then I thought it was fun. It would be nice to take them home to see our cats, but we’re not allowed to.  They seem to like living by the ocean, plus they would miss their ocean-friends. IMG_6534We also went to Ucluelet Aquarium.  I’ve never seen so many fun creatures in my life!!  The best was the crabs, part because my favourite colour is orange but mostly because of their big, pinchy claws!  And the sea enemies (anemones) were fun too. When I poked them they grabbed my finger – but not in a scary way, in a gentle, slow way – why are they called enemies when they’re so nice?  They were cute.  I wonder if they could see me because I didn’t see their findviagrapills eyes, but I really liked them.

Until next time!..IMG_6489

Favourite Vancouver Island Wine Releases – 2015

Spring time to some means flowers blooming, trees waking up from their long winter naps, and the return of warmer weather. To me, it means one very exciting thing: New wines to try!

Now that we are just getting our first taste of this year’s wines, I wanted to do a quick post about some of my favourite releases from 2015. In no way am I a professional at judging wines nor do I have a broad knowledge of all there is to know about wine. With that said, I do know more than the average person about British Columbia wines, and more than most about Vancouver Island wines.

You see, to make sure that everybody I take on a tour gets a chance to taste the best that Vancouver Island has to offer, I have to do a lot of painstaking research. I have to drive up and down the island and go to every winery, brewery, distillery & fine restaurant to make sure that my guests are only getting the best. I do the work so that you don’t have to. Aren’t I nice? Tempest-Ortega-2014Now on to the list! (please note that these are just wines that were available/released in 2015, not wines from the 2015 vintage)

Enrico – 2014 Ortega

This award winning wine was one of my favourite white wines to ever come from Vancouver Island, and the judges for the Lieutenant Governor’s Award apparently agreed with me. Very fruity with a slightly sweet finish made this the perfect patio sipping wine, although still paired nicely with food. This wine sold out very quickly due to the press it received, so if you’re considering buying some of the 2015 vintage (which is just as good in my opinion!) then you better act fast!

Chateau Wolff – 2014 White Blend2015_11_ExploreNanaimo_GRANDPRIZE-0822

This was also a beautiful, patio sipper of a wine. With a predominantly Viognier blend, this medium-bodied, fruity wine also pairs well with spicy foods such as Thai curries or even Indian cuisine. There are still some bottles left at the winery, so stop by and check out www.findviagrapills.com/ one of Vancouver Island’s first 5 wineries dating back to the early 90’s and say hi to the wonderful new owners, Matt & Natalie.

Cherry Point – 2012 Estate Pinot Noir

Also one of Vancouver Island’s first 5 wineries, Cherry Point tends to produce wines that are very different in style from the rest of the region. And nothing shows this off better than their Pinot Noir. This wine was grown exclusively on their estate vineyard and aged in old oak barrels for nearly 3 years, making this a true estate wine. I loved pairing it with any red meat, but it was also versatile enough to pair with salmon.

Unsworth+WineryUnsworth – 2013 Symphony

I absolutely love this red wine produced solely from Vancouver Island grapes. This blend is comprised of Cabernet Libre and Petit Milo grapes, both varietals that most have never heard of. They are hybrids that have been designed specifically with climates like ours in mind. The result is a beautiful, medium-bodied red wine that makes my water just thinking about it. There is quite the following for this wine, so it sold out quickly and will likely do so again in the future. So if you see it anywhere on a shelf, just buy it. If you find that you don’t want it, please feel free to send it my way and I will happily finish it off for you!

Glenterra – 2014 Natural Orange Pinot Grisglenterra-natural-orange

I’ll finish my list off with one of the most unique wines around. This natural orange wine is made in an ancient method dating back from Georgia (the country not the state). This is essentially a white grape made with red winemaking procedures. By letting the wine ferment on its skins, this normally white wine becomes orange. After a short aging in neutral French oak barrels it is bottled for all of us to enjoy. So if you’re up for trying something different that is sure to be a conversation starter, then I definitely recommend this wine.

 

Thanks to all these wineries for helping make the Vancouver Island wine region what it is today!

Now how about you? Were there any wines that stood out for you in 2015? Which wines are you looking forward to trying in 2016? Leave us a note in the comments about wines that really tickled your tastebuds!

 

 

Get to know Brendan Milholm

Thanks to all the wonderful people that we’ve had a chance to take on tours ranging from food and wine to hiking and kayaking, Vancouver Island Expeditions has had to add a new guide! Brendan Milholm is our newest team member looking to show you around our wonderful island. Here’s a little intro from him so you can get to know him better.

Hey Everyone,

I’m Brendan, the newest member of Vancouver Island Expeditions and self proclaimed “exploration expert”. I have been traveling up and down this beautiful island my entire life. Countless road trips, surf getaways, camping excursions and seaplane tours have allowed me to see some of the most breathtaking places in the entire world. I truly enjoy showing off these gems to people for the first time…. so to say I’m stoked to be doing this for a living now would be a definite understatement!

brendan2You can describe me as an easygoing guy, who’s always up for the next adventure or next “good time”. I try to put out positive vibes in any situation and can make friends with pretty much anybody I meet. Maybe it’s an island thing, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than in the frigid waters of the pacific ocean or among the tall old growth trees.

I have been lucky enough to travel abroad and findviagrapills.com/ experience many different cultures, yet Vancouver Island always finds a way to bring me back. The scenic west coast views are only the beginning to what this magical place has to offer. We can dip into the local food, craft beer, wine and art scenes together!

This is my home and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Soren – Something's Brewing at Longwood Brewery

 

Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!

IMG_0085Mommy and Daddy drink beer, I don’t like beer it smells funny and it’s for adults only. They make lots of beer in Nanaimo, where we live and Daddy takes people on tours to show them how it’s made! Did you know that at Longwood Brewery their beer likes to ride in a hammock? So funny. Beer doesn’t belong in a hammock, it has to stay in the fridge!!

It was real loud in the beer making room. Everywhere you looked there were about shiny, clean tanks that I could see myself in! And there were water sounds everywhere, and beeping noises and “chhhhuuuuu” like a steam engine! IMG_0101I got to climb a great big ladder to look inside one of the shiny containers. It was dark. I got a little scared but Daddy picked me up so everything was okay. Then they showed me a machine that spins cans of beer around and puts lids on them. It was pretty cool!

The best part of the tour was the air plane! So small but it looked so real. I wanted to fly it all over ALL DAY but Mom said “don’t touch, it’s for looking only” I still don’t understand why I can’t play with that plane ALL DAY!IMG_0112

We filled up daddy’s great big glass beer containers from the big beer taps. I took them to the car to help Daddy out, but boy were they heavy! Luckily I am a big boy now, I can help with everything. My brother is a baby, he can’t help yet. One day me and my brother will be REAL BIG and we can drink beer with Mom and Dad. And go on waterslides. And rides at the amusement park. I can’t wait until I’m bigger!IMG_0121