South Island – Victoria, the Sannich Peninsula, and Sooke

south-island

It may be the most populated region on Vancouver Island, but the south island, including Victoria, the province’s capital city, has a secret. She is playful. That is, people play outside. Then they eat – enthusiastically. Join them to relax at a waterside pub. Have a brew from one of the many craft breweries, some pan fried oysters from up island, and idly watch the activity in the inner harbour.

Canoe Brewpub

Friends enjoying beer samples at the Canoe Club, beside the Victoria Harbour

Vegans and others with alternative diets thrive here, maybe because chefs have so much to work with. Like the wind off the ocean, the local food is fresh and clean. From creative plant-based dishes to local lamb, they effortlessly create inclusive menus.

Pastures, farmlands, fishing coves, and artisans are within thirty minutes of the capital. Out on the Sannich Peninsula rich soil and dry summers produce a range of crops: apples, pears, berries, greens, root vegetables and even semi-tropical limes, lemons and olives. Drive or ride a bike through these back roads to try (a little) award-winning gin, hard cider, or micro beer. Stop in Sidney for some fresh fish and bookstore browsing (there are many). It doesn’t matter if it’s groomed nature at the world-renowned botanical gardens or the unspoiled west coast, this is where people move to but never from.

In the other direction from Victoria, the meandering back roads connect the farms to the tables. A stop at the island’s oldest meadery will show you that mead has come along way since mediaeval peasants clanked tankards. Onto the small, isolated town of Sooke, which is all about food, wine, and excellence. But not the end of the line, the road curves around and heads north, hugging the western coast. This is surf country, populated by a fiercely independent people who live happily in the rain shadow. Pure west coast bliss.

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Featured Listings

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Victoria’s Historic Inns

Victoria • South Island
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Add a sense of historic romance to your stay by choosing one of our unique, heritage, bed and breakfast inns where personal touches and extra attention to detail match the magical ambiance of your accommodations.

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Add a sense of historic romance to your stay by choosing one of our unique, heritage, bed and breakfast inns where personal touches and extra attention to detail match the…
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Luxury Wine Tours by L.A. Limousines

Victoria • Cowichan, South Island
250-391-9000
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Relax and enjoy the beautiful countryside of the Saanich Peninsula or Cowichan Valley as we whisk you and your guests away in luxury.  You will travel some of the best picturesque scenes of the South Island as we take you to the finest wineries, distillery and Cider Houses that the Island has to offer.  Included in your tour is a picnic lunch or dinning at a local bistro.

Categories: Cowichan, Sip, South Island
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Relax and enjoy the beautiful countryside of the Saanich Peninsula or Cowichan Valley as we whisk you and your guests away in luxury.  You will travel some of the best…
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Victoria Distillers

9891 Seaport Place, Sidney BC, V8L 4X3 • Sidney • South Island
250-544-8217
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Our new waterfront location opens May 2016! See how we craft premium cocktail spirits. Taste our award-winning products and enjoy them in innovative cocktails
– with a bite – in our lounge.

Categories: Regions, Sip, South Island
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Our new waterfront location opens May 2016! See how we craft premium cocktail spirits. Taste our award-winning products and enjoy them in innovative cocktails – with a bite – in…
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Muse Winery

11195 Chalet Road • North Saanich • South Island
250-656-2552
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Muse grows grapes under the warm sun of the Saanich Peninsula, north of Victoria. We select grapes from notable vineyards in other regions of Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Island and the Okanagan Valley.  This fine collection of high quality grapes from varying BC appellations blend, sing and dance together to create exceptional varietals with character, poise and vivacity.

The Ellman’s invite you to visit Muse Winery for a taste and tour of the vineyards.  In the summer months enjoy the culinary delights of Bistro Muse, featuring a taste of the Island , while dining al fresco on the terrace in the vineyard.  Keep an eye on the skies for the nearby nesting eagles soaring above.  The Wine & Gift Shop full of original art, gourmet gifts and goodies, tasting baskets, gift certificates and of course… wine.  The Tasting Room is open mid-April to the end of December; just check our website for the current hours of operation.  The winery hosts a number of art and music events throughout the year, so watch our event calendar on the website or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to plan your visit.  Think of Muse for your next private function.  Your guests will be delighted to relax in the Tuscan ambiance of our vineyard setting with gourmet food paired perfectly with our wines.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Categories: Savour, Sip, South Island
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Muse grows grapes under the warm sun of the Saanich Peninsula, north of Victoria. We select grapes from notable vineyards in other regions of Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Island…
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Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse

2487 Mt. St. Michael Rd • Saanich • South Island
250-544-4824
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Sea Cider is a farm-based cidery located on the Saanich Peninsula just minutes from Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Our ten acre farm is home to over 1,300 apple trees, made up of over 50 varieties of heritage apples.

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse has also become one of the top agri-tourism attractions in Victoria and Vancouver Island. Relax at our ciderhouse, and drink in the panoramic water views overlooking our orchard across the Haro Straight to James Island. The Ciderhouse is open for tastings and tours year round 11 to 4. Sea Cider is also the perfect venue for large and small weddings and corporate events and family functions. Enjoy a flight of ciders paired with organic cheese and other local delectables. Top off your visit with a tour and browse our selection of hand crafted farm product.

Categories: Savour, Sip, South Island
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Sea Cider is a farm-based cidery located on the Saanich Peninsula just minutes from Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Our ten acre farm is home to over 1,300 apple trees, made…
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Feast of Fields by FarmFolk CityFolk

Experience the harvest, gourmet style. Feast of Fields is Vancouver Island’s original local food celebration, highlighting connections between farmers and chefs, field and table, farm folks and city folks.  Sun. Aug. 28th, 2016.
Refer to website for this year's location •
1-888-730-0452
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The Roost Farm Centre LTD

The bakery serves up farm fresh breakfast, lunch, breads and sweet treats. The Bistro patio pairs estate wines with pizzas and unique food from an outdoor woodfired oven. Enjoy “the Passionate Farm Experience”.
9100 East Saanich Road, North Saanich • Victoria • South Island
250-655-0009 (Bistro/Winery) 250.655.0075 (Bakery)
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GBS Glassblowing

Come and see the art of handblown glass, ranging from oil lamps to wine glasses, visitors welcome. Open 10am – 5 pm Thursdays to Mondays.
678 Shawnigan Lake Road • Malahat • South Island
250-743-5666
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de Vine Vineyards & Distillery

Sip & savour our award-winning wines and craft spirits while enjoying breathtaking views of the coast and mountains. De Vine is available for private bookings and site tours can be made with reservation. Open seven days a week year round. Please see our website for operating hours and Whisky School registration.
6181-B Old West Saanich Road • Saanich • South Island
250-665-6983
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Symphony Vineyard

100% Saanich grown wines. We are a small family owned winery 15 minutes north of Victoria near Butchart Gardens, specializing in dry, aromatic white wines and lively, lightly oaked reds including Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Ortega, Pinot Noir Rosé, Pinot Noir, Millot and Foch. Enjoy our historic family farm with timber tasting room, and large patios overlooking the vineyard. Savor the quiet with a glass of wine and a 100% locally sourced lunch from the deli. Open 11-5 Fri & wkends May–Sep & 12–5 Mon to Thurs June–Aug. Check the website for off season hours.
Victoria • South Island
250-208-8784