Sip and savour the best of Vancouver Island
Mild temperatures and a year-round growing season have set the stage for the Vancouver Island region’s evolution into a casually sophisticated, internationally renowned foodie destination. In a bucolic area aptly dubbed the “Wine Islands,” visitors and staycationing residents alike can dive in and relish richly satisfying epicurean pleasures in a variety of unpretentious, rustic, casually hip and/or gourmet settings.
Sample Vancouver Island wine, mead, cider and premium spirits in more than three-dozen tasting rooms. Enjoy local food and drink in candle-lit establishments, on sun-drenched patios or while relaxing in a lively bistro or brewpub. Shop at farmgates, country markets and specialty food and liquor stores. Join tours led by friendly, knowledgeable food and drink authorities. And mingle with the culinary cognoscenti at our many festive annual wine, beer and food festivals.
Simple, fresh and local has been the common-sense norm here for millennia, and these qualities again rule supreme. A new generation of talented entrepreneurs – many schooled in their respective arts, others in the midst of second careers dedicated to their life’s true passion – have established themselves here in recent decades to work alongside long-time veterans of the scene.
Terraced fields and hillsides have been planted with cool-climate grapes suitable for one of the world’s northernmost wine regions. Food producers have formed farm-to-table liaisons with restaurateurs in winning the loyalty of locavore diners. Independent breweries have launched a craft-beer revolution with a fantastic array of classic ales and novel inventions. Our orchards and apiaries deliver the raw materials for exquisite cider, brandy and mead. And there’s even a few PhD chemists in the mix cooking up heady batches of premium gin, whiskey and vodka.
All these creature comforts help explain why the region continues to be named one of the world’s best island getaways by the discerning readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines. Stop into Visitor Centres across the region for maps, tips, accommodation information to help you navigate from one sumptuous roadside attraction to the next. Bon appétit and cheers!