Saanich lies just a few minutes north of Victoria, yet it truly feels like a world apart. Driving along country lanes lined with arbutus and wild roses, gazing at the gently rolling landscape, it's hard to believe that a major highway, ferry terminals, and an international airport are nearby. Sandwiched between a sunwarmed inlet and the island-dotted Strait of Georgia, the peninsula has a sheltered, mild, and temperate nature. This is reflected in the variety of fresh-from-the-field bounty ranging from strawberries to sunflowers sold at numerous roadside stands and markets.
Saanich is also Vancouver Island's latest viticultural hot spot, boasting the island's only Certified Organic vineyard. Many of the chefs on the peninsula follow the ethics of Slow Food, using locally grown foods in their menus. Saanich winemakers produce fruit-forward floral whites such as Bacchus and Ortega and light-to-medium-bodied reds such as Pinot Noir and Marechal Foch. Others craft full-bodied fruit wines from farmgrown blackberries and kiwis. You can sample these in the tasting rooms along the Saanich Wine Route, or find them at restaurants and fine wine shops throughout the peninsula.