Wine of the Month – August 2016

Unsworth 2015 Rose

We started a beer of the month post in July, but then all the great local Vancouver Island wine got jealous. So here we go with Wine of the Month! We have so much wonderful wine here on Vancouver Island that many people don’t even realize we have. Hopefully we can help bring to light some of the delicious, approachable wine that we have to offer so that next time you’re in the liquor store or wine shop you feel confident to branch out and try something new.

Our first wine of the month just happens to be perfect for summer patio sipping on a beautiful August afternoon or even for pairing with a nice barbecue dinner. It also happens to be a rosé. Now don’t worry, I know that years of sweet, syrupy white zinfandels have scarred many human beings along the way. This should not be a reason for you to stay away from rosés! Most Vancouver Island rosés are crisp and dry wines that have amazing notes of strawberries or cranberries. Very easy drinking and approachable, yet all sorts of complex flavours coming through.

Unsworth Vineyards produces one of my favourite rosés anywhere and to me is a perfect expression of the wines we can consistently create right here on Vancouver Island. Theirs is a provencal style rosé that has a beautiful colour created by leaving the wine on the skins for just enough time to extract a bit of colour from the pinot noir grapes they use to make it. Pairs beautifully with cheese, grilled fish, or just good friends on the patio. Enjoy!

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 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!



Soren – An afternoon at the Teafarm

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!

This month I got to spend some time at the Teafarm!  I love Teafarm for so many reasons!

7-IMG_4519I thought tea came from the cupboard but apparently it comes from a farm!  But if you visit the tea farm in Cowichan you’ll learn that tea actually grows on a bush and then the farmers turn it into nice smelling tea by plucking and drying it!

There was a list of all the teas and we choose one to try.  The nice people at the tea farm brought us a teapot and special cups to drink from.  My cup was small, just the right size for me to sip from. 2-IMG_4558 The tea was much better than drinking water from my sippy cup – it was warm and a little sweet too but mommy said there was no sugar in it.  Neat, eh?  There was a really nice place to sit outside with big wooden chairs – perfect for climbing all over!  There was even a fireplace inside just in case it’s cold outside and lots of places to sit.  I could have brought some friends with us too!

In the house at the tea farm there’s lots of tins to choose from. I took them off the shelf and put them back on the shelf.  Off the shelf and then back, I could have done this all day!  This is what I did when everyone else was learning about how teas are made and the different type of teas.

At home when we have tea I don’t get treats!  At the tea farm they bring chocolate and other goodies for you to pair with your tea.  And the shortbread was the best I have had in my entire life!  I6-IMG_4542 smiled really big at the nice man so maybe that’s why we got treats?  The chocolate tasted like flowers, prettiest chocolate I’ve ever eaten.  My girlfriend would have loved this place!  I’ll definitely smile at him again when we go back to get more treats.

Yummmmmy!  I really like that there’s so many different types of teas to choose from.  Before we left Mommy said I could take a couple tins of tea home with us.  I hope we can go back to the tea farm again soon to try more teas and goodies!