This Country Life: Exploring wineries and farms in Langley, BC
Ever since I moved back to Vancouver in my twenties, I get stressed out as soon as get on a highway and leave the city. Not because I don’t like other cities and suburbs outside Vancouver, but mainly because I hate driving, freeways and the badly planned communities that make driving necessary (trust me, I am not anti-suburbs. I grew up in Coquitlam…or as my friends affectionately called it, the “Coq”).
On the rare occasions that I do head further east on Highway 1 and pass through Langley, I always notice the signs advertising local wineries and farms. But, I was intimidated by the prospect of exiting the highway to visit them because I feared getting lost (and arguing with my husband over who told who to turn on the wrong street).
Last weekend, I finally decided to take the road (i.e. highway exit) less travelled (by me) and discover Langley’s agricultural scene. And I would not let getting lost intimidate me. I did some research on where the wineries and farms were located, created my own personal Google Map and we hit the road. Here is where we stopped:
Shaking my Bouteille
2.) Township 7: This winery had an entire wall of picnic items from local bakers, cheesemakers and farmers. You could choose any bread, cheese, pickled veggie, dip, etc. and create your own personal picnic and have any glass of wine (including the pricey reserve wine) for $5 - and the staff insisted that we try all the wines before we pick one! Outside they have a great picnic area. I look forward to coming back in October when they invite people to join them in a grape stomping competition!
View from picnic table at Township 7 winery
3.) Domaine de Chaberton: Probably the oldest and most established of local wineries, this winery is very popular with plenty of award winning wines and an excellent restaurant, Bacchus Bistro. Unfortunately, we were too stuffed from our picnic to eat there.
At Vista D’Oro Farms: this old dog was probably 100 in dog years and shed a handful of hair every time I pet her.
4.) Vista D’Oro Farms: Vista D’oro Farms & Winery grows heritage orchard fruits, culinary herbs and grapes all of which can be found in their Farmgate Shop, a quaint, cozy farmhouse where they sell preserves, wines and fresh baking. Their rhubarb vanilla artisanal preserve is heavenly. The farm also grows green walnuts on the property, which are used to produce a delicious walnut port.
5. The Fort Winery: similar to Elephant Island on the Naramata Bench, this winery specialized in fruit wine. They also have a lovely shop where you can enjoy cheese platters and sangria.
If you are looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver, it is easy to forget that the countryside is just a freeway drive away. I highly recommend it.
For more information on self-guided farm/wine tours in Langley, visit Circle Farm tours.