From Grape to Glass: 14 Best Wineries in British Columbia
British Columbia is renowned for its beautiful landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich culture. But did you know that it is also home to some of the best wineries in the world? The unique terroir of British Columbia's wine regions, combined with the passion and expertise of local winemakers, produces some of the most delicious and distinctive wines you'll ever taste.
From crisp whites to bold reds, the wines of British Columbia reflect the region's natural beauty and character. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, there's something for everyone in BC's wine country.
In this article, we'll take you on a tour of the best wineries in British Columbia, from the sun-drenched vineyards of the Okanagan Valley to the rugged coastlines of Vancouver Island. Get ready to explore, taste, and discover the incredible world of BC wine!
OKANAGAN VALLEY WINERIES
1. Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery holds a treasured spot among the top wineries in British Columbia. It's more than a winery; it's an all-encompassing experience.
Imagine waking up in the heart of the vineyard, in one of the 11 carefully appointed guest rooms, greeted by a lavish breakfast carefully curated for your pleasure. It's not just any breakfast; it's an indulgent feast brought straight to your room that kick-starts your day on a delightful note.
But the luxurious offerings don't stop there. Step outside to the inviting pool, warmed by eco-conscious solar panels, a testament to the winery's commitment to sustainability. Whether it's a morning dip or an afternoon laze, the pool is your personal oasis of relaxation.
This cherished winery is renowned for its premium VQA wines that are as exceptional as the locale itself.
From vine to glass, every sip reveals a story of the land it's cultivated from. Additionally, the on-site wine shop offers a carefully selected range of their finest vintages for you to carry a piece of your wine adventure back home.
2. MOCOJO Winery
This quaint winery may not have sleepovers anymore, but it more than compensates with its impressive wine roster. MOCOJO proudly produces a dynamic range of varietals.
From the fruity notes of Gewurztraminer and the fragrant Viognier to the robust Marechal Foch and Malbec, each bottle uncorks a unique symphony of flavours.
They didn't stop there; adding a Rosé to their collection in 2015 and a hearty Merlot that autumn, they've continued to expand their repertoire, delighting visitors with a diverse selection of delectable wines.
Alongside these luscious offerings, their newly transformed tasting room—formerly a B&B—is a star attraction. Combining the comforts of modern amenities with the charm of a rustic vineyard, it's the perfect spot to sip, savour, and learn about their wines.
Whether you're part of a social wine club or a solo adventurer, MOCOJO welcomes you with warmth, affable service, and a genuine passion for sharing their wines.
3. Poplar Grove Winery
Poplar Grove Winery is a testament to the rich diversity of wineries in British Columbia. A hallmark of Poplar Grove is its ability to seamlessly blend stunning views, exquisite wines, and delectable cuisine, all coming together in an extraordinary vineyard experience.
Their tasting room is a connoisseur's paradise, offering a unique opportunity to explore their core collection of six wines. Among the fan-favourites is the 2016 Pinot Gris, coming from an exceptional wine-producing climate.
Hot summers and frost-free autumns in this region cultivate perfect conditions for growing grapes that are transformed into vibrant and balanced wines. Each bottle from theirs tells a captivating story of the land, the climate, and the passionate individuals who dedicate their lives to crafting these liquid masterpieces.
And the sensory delights don't end with the wine. The Vanilla Pod Restaurant, part of the Poplar Grove estate, offers gastronomic delights to perfectly complement your wine-tasting journey.
As you sip your chosen vintage, let your taste buds explore a menu that marries local ingredients with global flavours.
4. Therapy Vineyards & Inn
Therapy Vineyards knows that the joy of wine transcends expert knowledge. Whether your wine vocabulary is as extensive as an encyclopedia or simply comprises the words 'red' and 'white,' they ensure you feel at home.
Their wines are approachable and elegant, gracing your palate with a consistency that speaks volumes of their commitment to quality.
Wine lovers can expect aromatic, fresh, clean, and crisp whites, a refreshing delight on a sunny BC afternoon.
Their reds, on the other hand, are an ode to balance, aged to perfection, and approachable from the moment you lay eyes on them on the shelf.
The secret behind the magic is the masterful craftsmanship of their winemaker, Jacq Kemp. With a passion for creating wines that are true to their varietal characteristics, Kemp's award-winning prowess infuses every bottle with an authenticity that sets them apart.
5. Quails' Gate Winery
At Quails' Gate, each visit begins with an immersive wine tour that invites you to explore the heart of their wine-making process.
The experience continues in the tasting room, where you'll have the opportunity to sample a wide array of wines, each embodying the unique terroir of the region.
What makes them even more special is its lakefront accommodations. Here, you can enjoy the serene beauty of the vineyard landscape, with the scenic vista offering an enchanting backdrop for your stay.
It's an experience that perfectly marries luxury, comfort, and the natural charm of the vineyard, making it a must for your winery trips.
Your wine journey wouldn't be complete without savoring the Pacific Northwest cuisine at the winery's on-site restaurant. Their menu is a celebration of flavours, each dish meticulously crafted and beautifully plated.
6. Liquidity Wines
Liquidity Wines occupies a unique position at the crossroads of two distinctive wine-growing regions.
As a result, it benefits from the best of both worlds, combining the characteristics of different terrains to create wines with depth, complexity, and balance.
It is not just about the wine; it's about the captivating beauty of the surroundings. Perched on a hillside, the winery and restaurant offer breathtaking views over Lake Vaseux and the magnificent McIntyre Bluff.
With every sip, you're treated to a panorama that perfectly complements the outstanding wines.
The restaurant there elevates the winery experience to a whole new level. Imagine savoring one of the best meals of your life, each dish bursting with incredible flavors, expertly paired with the perfect wine.
The thoughtful intention behind each aspect of your visit is evident, from the selection of wines to the meticulously crafted cuisine.
7. Mission Hill Family Estate Winery
The moment you step onto the estate, it feels like you've entered another world. With its 12-storey bell tower and elegant limestone arches, this winery is as much a feast for the eyes as its wines are for the palate.
The uniqueness extends to its vineyards, with five family-owned estates offering varied climate, soil, and slope characteristics. This diversity is mirrored in the complexity and richness of their wines, each bottle telling the story of its unique terroir.
Their dedication for high quality wines show delightfully in every bottle, as customers rave about the quality of these wineries and often find it a truly amazing experience.
8. See Ya Later Ranch
Here at See Ya Later Ranch, wine tasting is more than just an activity—it's an experience. Their knowledgeable staff, lauded for their friendly approach and dedication, breathe life into the wine narrative.
Thanks to David and the rest of the team, every tasting becomes an enjoyable journey. The wines, celebrated for their exceptional taste, strike a perfect balance between quality and affordability, ensuring you get the best without breaking the bank.
Adding to the allure is their charming bistro. After exploring the vineyards and savoring the wines, you can unwind at the bistro, which offers a variety of tasty dishes that perfectly complement their wine selection.
To remember your visit, stop by their gift shop, where you'll find an array of swag to take a piece of See Ya Later Ranch home with you.
9. Nighthawk Vineyards
A visit to Nighthawk Vineyards is an exploration of the extraordinary. Each bottle they produce is a testament to the meticulous attention to detail and love poured into every step of the winemaking process.
Their wines, steeped in tradition and quality, offer an exquisite balance of flavors that dance on the palate.
But the delights reach beyond their wines. During your visit, be sure to reserve a table at their outdoor Vineyard Kitchen & Patio.
Here, the picturesque vineyards serve as the backdrop to a dining experience that's as satisfying as their wines. Indulge in their handcrafted pizzas, fresh from a wood-fire oven. Each bite is a fusion of flavors, enhanced by the smoky charm of the wood fire.
The beauty of Nighthawk Vineyards lies in their ability to create harmony between their wines and food. Each pizza is expertly crafted to pair seamlessly with their wines, creating a culinary symphony that's hard to resist.
10. NK'MIP Cellars
When you step into NK'MIP Cellars, you're embarking on a journey filled with delightful wines and breathtaking views.
The wine tasting experience here is nothing short of amazing, with each sip revealing the craftsmanship that has been poured into the creation of these fantastic wines.
But the charm doesn't end with the wine. After indulging your palate, treat your taste buds to a feast at their garden restaurant.
The fresh and delectable dishes served here complement their wines perfectly, offering a harmonious culinary experience that's sure to leave you sated.
What sets them apart, however, is its commitment to its roots. Alongside its top-notch winery and restaurant, it houses an on-site cultural center where you can delve into the rich tapestry of Indigenous history.
After all, a trip to NK'MIP is not merely about wine and food—it's a celebration of culture and heritage.
VANCOUVER ISLAND WINERIES
11. Averill Creek Vineyard
Averill Creek is known for their dedication to producing authentic wines, an endeavor that requires minimal intervention to ensure the true essence of the vineyard and vintage is carried from grape to glass.
And when it comes to pleasure, their wines never disappoint. Every sip brings a rush of flavors that eloquently express the inherent elegance, texture, and perfume of their cool-climate wines.
The team is led by winemaker Brent Rowland, who employs a range of traditional techniques to enhance these characteristics.
Foot-stomping, skin contact, whole-bunch fermentation, pigeage, and lees ageing are all part of the process. What's more, the wines are wild fermented, no enzymes or nutrients are added, and little to no sulphur is used. Most of their wines are unfined and unfiltered, making them as natural as they come.
12. Damali Lavender & Winery
These wines are nothing short of unique and provide a twist on the traditional with their added flavours.
Even if you're typically not a fan of flavoured wines, Damali encourages you to explore these masterpieces—they promise to surprise and delight your palate. It's not uncommon for visitors to find themselves leaving with a bottle of every wine they've tasted, such is the allure of Damali's offerings.
But the wine is just one part of the Damali experience. The property invites you to immerse yourself in its beauty, take a leisurely stroll through its lavender fields, and explore the meticulously maintained gardens.
This isn't your typical winery visit; Damali Lavender & Winery is a sensory journey that showcases the beauty of Vancouver Island's wine country while serving up some of the best wines BC has to offer.
13. Blue Grouse Estate Winery
The wines at Blue Grouse Estate are a testament to the care and skill that goes into their creation, offering a diverse range of flavors that are as unique as they are delicious.
Paired with an offering of local foods, the wines are designed to tantalize your taste buds and provide a true taste of the local terroir.
However, Blue Grouse is more than just the sum of its wines and tastings. The winery's main building is the owner's commitment to social responsibility, boasting an architectural masterpiece that meets LEED standards.
It stands as a beacon of sustainable design, seamlessly blending into the surrounding landscape while providing a luxurious space for wine tasting.
14. Garry Oaks Estate Winery
At Garry Oaks, the spotlight is on locally sourced produce. Every food and beverage selection offered is locally sourced, with an emphasis on Certified Organic options.
This commitment to sustainability and local economy not only enhances the taste of the wines but also reflects the winery's philosophy of preserving the natural beauty of Vancouver Island.
The moment you step into the tasting room, you are greeted by a wall of winners, a testament to the quality and craft of the wines.
A tasting flight, reasonably priced at $5 per person, allows you to sample a selection of their finest wines. Each pour is guided by a knowledgeable staff member who brings a wealth of expertise about the wines, their production, and the unique terroir of the island.
15. Unsworth Vineyards
This family-built winery is resolute in its commitment to producing wines of distinction that genuinely reflect the exceptional soil and growing conditions unique to the Valley.
Under the expert guidance of winemaker, Dan Wright and his team, Unsworth Vineyards currently cultivates 12 acres of diverse grape varieties. The oldest block, the Marechal Foch, planted back in 2007, lends its unique character to their award-winning Ovation.
In 2011, Unsworth broke new ground by planting several Blattner varieties, which have since played a substantial role in crafting their Allegro and Symphony blends.
While wine enthusiasts might initially be taken aback by these innovative blends and unfamiliar grape varieties, one sip is typically enough to dispel any doubts.
Recognizing the charm of traditional grapes, the winery also ventured into mainstream grape cultivation with the planting of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.
Today, these varieties beautifully supplement the grapes grown by Unsworth’s neighboring vineyard partners, adding further depth and complexity to their offerings.
16. Alderlea Vineyards
The welcoming atmosphere extends beyond the tasting room, and you might even receive a warm welcome from the resident vineyard dog, Vino.
This homely charm, coupled with the remarkable quality of the wines, amplifies the tasting experience, making it one you'll fondly remember
The winery prides itself on producing exceptional wines, with the Valerie being a standout.
This wine, like all others at Alderlea, is crafted with care and expertise, embodying the unique terroir of the Cowichan Valley.
17. Church & State Wines - Victoria
This vineyard's exceptional quality is underscored by its remarkable achievement at the 2017 New World International Wine Competition, where it clinched numerous awards, adding to its already well-established reputation.
Bountifully blessed by nature, Church & State's vineyards thrive on the Black Sage Bench, where the gravel-sand soils and prolonged evening sunshine provide an idyllic setting for the maturation of red grapes.
This unique terroir allows the vineyard to cultivate grapes with distinctive characteristics, contributing to the creation of rich, full-bodied wines that echo the nuances of their provenance.
To Sum It All Up
As we wrap up our grand tour of British Columbia's thriving winery scene, it's clear to see why this vibrant region is becoming a notable destination for wine lovers around the globe.
In every glass of BC wine, there's a story of the land and the people who nurtured it from vine to bottle. It's in the lush aroma of the grapes ripened under the Okanagan sun, in the crisp, well-aged reds and the fresh, aromatic whites. But, most importantly, it's the collective effort and a shared love of wine that makes Vancouver's winery scene truly exceptional.