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!



1 Comment

  1. So many to choose from! Big fan of Blue Grouse’s Siegerrebe, Black Muscat and Baccus. Cherry Point’s 2013 Coastal Red inspired a tipsy “thank you for making such a delicious red” email to winemaker, Javier, after a bottle one night. I love our Cowichan Valley and all its offerings!

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