Exploring Outside Vancouver For Wine, Cider and Beer Tastings
On our road trip around British Columbia, we stopped to explore outside Vancouver for wine, beer and cider tastings. Our first stop in Kelowna introduced us to the wines of the northern Okanagan Valley. From there we moved south to Osoyoos to find the wine capital of Canada. Our next stop took us back towards Vancouver. But our tasting days were not over.
We returned to Chaberton Estates Winery and were reminded that you can never really go back. From wine we moved on and saw the wide variations in cider produced in the Fraser Valley Cider Company. A day trip to Fort Langley ensured we taste tested a great variety of fruit wines at the Fort Wine Company. And one evening we wandered in the small town of Port Moody and had a great microbrewery experience at Yellow Dog Brewery.
It was fun to add some new tasting experiences on our stay outside of Vancouver.
A Stop To Wander In The Fraser Valley
We had two stays planned outside of Vancouver. We wanted to be close to the highway for easy access to the Fraser Valley. Our first stay took us to the Civic Hotel in Surrey. It was another Autograph Collection hotel in the Marriott Bonvoy line-up. As we found in other hotels of this brand, it was a new and stylish hotel. Located right on the Skytrain line, it provided easy access to Vancouver and the surrounding areas.
We had a high corner room that looked west and north. When the clouds moved out, it was great to see mountains in the distance through the floor to ceiling windows on all sides of our room. These great views however were offset when we realized that “climate control” did not mean air conditioning.
From Surrey we moved into an AirBNB in Port Moody to be close to one of our kids. Nick was a few blocks away. And it was great to have him and his dog Gypsy come to visit.
Our stays in Surrey and Port Moody gave us easy access to the highway. It made it easy when we headed out of Vancouver for wine, cider and beer tastings.
Wine Tasting At Chaberton Estates Winery
One year we spent the whole fall in Vancouver. During that trip, I discovered my favourite rosé wine. I liked it so much that one day we drove around the whole area to scoop up the last bottles of that year’s batch. So no return to explore the Fraser Valley would be complete without a stop at Chaberton Estate Winery.
The tasting bar was very busy when we arrived. We were certainly spoiled with empty tasting rooms when we went wine tasting in the Okanagan Valley mid-week. And our recent experience with invitation-only wine tasting visits in Napa may certainly have ruined us. But we found a spot and checked out the wine tasting card.
The Civic Hotel gave us bottles of both Chaberton Red and Chaberton White. So we did not need to taste these house wines. We had found such interesting new wine varietals on our visit to BC. So we started with the Siegerrebe white wine. My mouth puckered on this tangy wine. The Pinot Gris had a pink tint but was a very dry wine. The winery was known for its Bachus white so we made sure to try this estate grown grape. It was the sweetest wine they had. But not sweet enough for David.
We were happy to start at Chaberton Estates on our visit outside Vancouver for wine, cider and beer tastings.
You Can’t Really Go Back
We returned to this winery specifically to try the Valley Pink rosé. The 2014 vintage we initially bought was fruity but not too dry or sweet. Just the way I like my rosés. We again learned what a difference the year makes. The grapes used in the Valley Pink had changed a little. But what grabbed me was the heavy smokey taste of this rosé. Not to my taste at all. We would not be buying out the store on this visit.
We finished up tasting the Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah red wines. The Cab had a tangy fruit flavour. Whereas the Syrah was so much smoother on the palate.
We spent a little time and checked out the winery. But then it was time for our lunch reservation. The Bachus Cafe was well regarded with its view out over the vineyards. Several large groups had not finished up and we did not get a patio seat. But lunch was delicious. French Onion soup was followed by a light crepe. David looked for seafood and chose mussels. Of course, we did not pass on the fresh strawberry rhubarb crumble for dessert.
We were disappointed that the Valley Pink rosé was not the tasty rosé wine we remembered. But we certainly were happy with our lunch stop at the Bachus Cafe. It was definitely worth a visit on our tour outside Vancouver for wine, cider and beer tastings.
So Many Cider Options At The Fraser Valley Cider Company
The next stop as we explored the Fraser Valley was at the Fraser Valley Cider Company. When we pulled up, the picnic area was full and children ran around outside. It seemed like everyone was out to enjoy the great sunny day.
There was no room at the tasting bar so we looked at the cider offerings. I was surprised to find so many different ciders. And such interesting names. “Scrumpy” was a high tannin cider with a taste of the old country that would “grab you by the scruff of the neck”. The “Rosy” cider got its fruity flavour from raspberries. There were ciders flavoured from blackcurrant, elderflowers, honey and gin botanicals.
There were ciders produced in co-op like ventures from the surplus apples in the community (the “Community Press”). And ciders made from apples collected from the hedgerows and untended fields (the “Gleaners Gold”).
I never imagined there were that many different ways to make cider. Unfortunately the line up was too long and we did not have time to wait to do a tasting. Next time we will return mid-week for a visit. But it was still a great stop on our tour outside Vancouver for wine, cider and beer tastings. It was always good to finish up wanting more.
Fruit Wine Company In Fort Langley
Whenever we are in Vancouver, we like to head to the Fraser Valley for a cranberry run. Cranberries Naturally has the best chocolate covered cranberries to be found!
But on this trip, we also stopped at the Fort Wine Company just outside of Fort Langley. The winery looked deserted when we arrived. Only one car was there and they left as we arrived. The door was locked. But as we turned away, someone opened the door.
There was a great selection of fruit wines. Again, so many more than I expected. There were a few apple wines but I looked for something more to my taste. I found two that I had to taste test.
We started with the Cranberry Klondike iced fruit wine. It was sweet but had a tangy taste of cranberries that softened the taste. I moved from there to the Raspberry Finger Fruit. This tasted just like raspberry jam – a little sharp but so yummy. Both of these were going home with us. We tasted the Cold Snap apple but it was too sweet for me. Not like the great iced apple cider we tried on our visit to the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal.
We were tempted by the crazy names and labels on the fruit wines – “Valley Girl” Blueberry, “Bite Me” Strawberry and “Sweet Nothings” Blueberry. But we collected a lot of ice wine on our ice wine tour in Niagara. And then added to our sweet wine collection on our visit to Okanagan wine country. There was only so much sweet wine we needed.
It was great to see this interesting fruit wine on our tour outside Vancouver for wine, cider and beer tastings. The tasting experience was stark. And we were charged for wine tasting even though we bought two bottles. But we were still glad we stopped here on our visit to Fort Langley.
Micro Brewery Experience In Port Moody
On our previous visits to Vancouver, we learned that there are so many great micro breweries in the Vancouver area. When we stayed in Port Moody, our son took us out to see the ones in that area. It was a sunny Saturday evening and there were lineups outside them all. We picked the Yellow Dog Brewery and waited in line.
The brew pubs were not allowed to sell food, so there was a thriving food truck business just outside the pubs. You could pick up your food and take it in to have with your beer. We saw an interesting selection of food trucks.
When we got inside, we settled in for some beer tastings. We sampled from the fruity end with a deliciously fresh peach flavoured beer. At the other extreme, David tried the “Shake A Paw” Smoked Porter very dark beer.
There were snacks offered in the pub. And at the patio there was a mobile stand set up that sold oysters. David watched the expert open and serve the oysters. And we could not resist getting our own dozen.
It was a fun night out in Port Moody. It was great to add this micro brewery to our tour outside Vancouver for wine, cider and beer tastings.
Visit Vancouver For Wine, Cider and Beer Tastings
We certainly drank our way around on this visit. It was wonderful to travel to different spots outside Vancouver for wine, cider and beer tastings. We were amazed at the variety of offerings we found. Definitely something for everyone.
When we left Port Moody, we headed for the ferry to Vancouver Island. On our next stop, we explored Vancouver Island from sea to sea. We were excited to see what we might add to our tasting list on our 2 weeks on the island.
Did you travel outside of Vancouver for wine, cider and beer tastings? Did you find a favourite spirit to your taste?
PIN To Pinterest:
This sounds like my kind of place. I love to explore wineries, this reminds me of a vineyard in India. They took me on a tour, and taught me how wine is made? It was a beautiful experience, this seems something similar to that. I would definitely like to visit this on my trip to Vancouver.
Ramya, I love when you visit wineries and they offer unique experiences. I am sure there are some lovely wineries in India. I hope you get to visit Vancouver one day. So many great spots for day trips like the Fraser Valley. Linda
Oysters and booze and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie…OH MY! Haha, sounds like you guys had an epic bucket list Drink adventure in Vancouver trying all the Wine, Cider, and Beer Tastings. First I love that corner view you got at the Civic hotel. Too bad the Pink Rose wasnt what you remembered cause Darcee loves Rose’ so I am sure that is the type of wine she would have tried the most. For me, I think the cider would have been the highlight because I am not the biggest fan of Porter Ales unless the brewery had lighter ales
Eric, We found just a little bit for everyone as we drank our way around the Fraser Valley. We were excited we found some new spots. Even if my rose was not as I remembered it. So many great options for a day trip. Linda
Really like the view from Civic hotel. I’m also fond of rosé wine and your winery tour reminds me of one I did in Sula/Soma vineyards, close to Pune! The strawberry rhubarb crumble sounds like cherry on the cake. The road trip covering variety of tastings certainly seems very exciting and worth exploring. Though I’d love to visit at a time when grapes crushing/stomping could also be packed in!
Aradhana, We were happy we found so many different tasting options as we wandered around the Fraser Valley. We too would love to be there for harvest season. We loved that experience in France. Linda
Wow, sounds like a fun trip! I love your detailed descriptions and all of your pictures. What a gorgeous view from your hotel room, although that would be disappointing to realize there was no air conditioning!
Martha, It was fun exploring all the different tasting options. Thanks for your feedback on our pictures. The hotel reminded us of some European hotels with “climate control”. Good thing it was manageable on this visit. Linda
I’ve been in Vancouver a few years ago and absolutely loved it, but didn’t make it very far outside the city. I see there are quite a few nice areas around, like Fort Langley, Fraser Valley and Port Moody. It’s good to know all these places are great for beer, wine and cider tasting. I’d love to return to Vancouver someday.
Anda, We have spent a lot of time in Vancouver and love to head out to explore. It was fun to find some tasty spots on the wanders on this visit. I hope you get to return to Vancouver. There is certainly a lot to do in and out of the city. Linda
What a lovely experience tasting wine, beer and cider outside Vancouver.
I have never tasted the Cranberry Klondike iced fruit wine but I guess the cranberry taste will be powering. Similarly the Raspberry Finger Fruit looks like a wine I would love to try since you said it was like Raspberry jam. I need to go hunting for these two.
I will be sharing this post with my friend who will be moving down to Vancouver from England to start work as a doctor once the ban is lifted.
Bolupe, Our visit to the Fraser Valley certainly did give us some tasty treats. Definitely a spot your friend should visit. There are dozens of Vancouver posts on my blog if your friend wants more information and tips. Linda
The Valley Pink Rose sounds like the perfect wine considering it’s not too sweet, but not way too dry. I cant see why it would be a favorite. Fraser Valley sounds amazing,I would like to start planning a trip. All of the food and wine, oh my goodness. Mussels, rhubarb pie, oysters, YUM! I love cranberries, and have never had chocolate cranberries, but would to try them! You have way more willpower than I do. I’m such a sucker for cool labels and good marketing! Those wines certainly have unique labels and names!
Stephanie, We loved all the food and drink. And every time we visit we come back with bags of chocolate covered cranberries. Only place I will buy them now. We did buy far more than we planned to. Linda
So I was watching the movie the wine country n was thinking how I miss going to a vineyard n taste winec. It’s rare to have a good vineyard in India . Recently I have been to Inle vineyard in myanmar n it was so cool . I love the picturesque surrounding of the vineyard . Valley pink rose does looks amazing n tempting yo me . Well somday then !!
Debjani, I hope you do get to go wine tasting again. Many of the ones in Canada have managed to open outdoor patios and offer safe wine tasting options. We hope to head out for fall harvest. But as you say, we will see. Linda
Love the whole trail. Though I wish you had stopped for the cranberries this time too 😉 I am actually craving for the chocolate ones. The fruit wine company did compensate for it though with its various flavors. I would not mind the raspberry one myself.
Ami, It was such a tasty trail in the Fraser Valley. Good thing we get back to Vancouver on a regular basis (on most years) and we can get our chocolate cranberries again. Linda
I loved that there are so many beautiful vineyards nearby Vancouver. I had been to some rustic vineyards in Georgia(country) and mid west of USA and found it awesome. You have found some good vineyards with lovely food options too. Fruit wine is my favorite and especially apple or raspberry and therefore fruit wine company in Fort Langley would be my first choice. Your stay at Civic hotel and selection of corner room has won me over as you have perfect view.
Yukti, We were surprised to find so many different fruit wines on our visit to the Fraser Valley. I hope you get to visit one day. Linda
First of all, that’s a perfect room with a view. Floor to ceiling windows lend such a great view! Too bad the ‘climate control’ didn’t mean air-conditioned! Just yesterday, after sweating in my accommodation, I relate to you very well!
Visit to Chaberton Estates Winery is something I wouldn’t miss as a wine lover. Yeah, wine makers have a list of good years & bad years and many a times, having the same taste in a different batch would become difficult. Too bad to taste a smoky flavour in rose wine, I wouldn’t have liked that too!
On summer days, when my friends go for a beer, I always prefer a cider. It would be fun to visit the Cider company too!
Bhushavali, We loved the chance to explore the different wine and cider options in the Fraser Valley. It was the first time we tasted such a variety. And we went home with several bottles. Linda
Our trip to Canada has been postponed because of COVID but we had been looking forward to visiting Vancouver. Thank you for sharing this post. Will make sure to extend our itinerary go outside. I am pretty sure my husband would enjoy a wine tasting experience at Chaberton. It would also be interesting to visit the brewery in Port Moody.
Clarice, So sorry that your trip to Canada has been delayed. But I am glad to be adding go your list when you visit. There are some great spots outside of Vancouver to see. Lots of tasty stops. Linda
This sounds my kind of day out. Should have been on a house sit in Vancouver about this time – but hey Covid. Hopefully next year and I’m adding this to my wish list.
Sarah, I hope you do get to Vancouver one year. There is so much to see on day trips outside of the city. Linda
Oh, what fun to enjoy all these tastings! I love trying local beverages and seem to always find something worth taking home. And the French Onion soup looks amazing! I’ll have to save this for the next time we’re in the Vancouver area.
There are so many great spots for tastings around Vancouver. This was a great new discovery for us to find so many good taste tests.