Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland are home to a surprising number of vineyards and wineries, making wine tours and tastings popular things to do in the region.
WINERIES AND COVID-19
The same as other businesses, Lower Mainland wineries have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. Many had to close their doors temporarily, lay off staff and suffer a loss in sales. As of the end of May, life is slowly returning to close to normal.
Some wineries are offering drive-thru service (like Backyard Vineyards) and curbside pick-up (like Maan Farms). Some have cancelled their tours and restaurant services, but have reopened their wine shops (e.g., Chaberton). Places like Township 7 have resumed their wine tastings. Most have still been serving customers via their online stores, and some have been offering special discounts.
For the most up-to-date status of specific wineries, see their official websites.
To learn about other businesses and attractions that have resumed operations, see our article about Vancouver Open and Reopening Places.
Metro Vancouver Wineries
The majority of top wineries in the Lower Mainland are based in the Fraser Valley, although some are also found in other areas including Richmond.
Fraser Valley Vineyards & Wineries
Popular wineries in the Fraser Valley include the following:
- Backyard Vineyards – since 2009 this local vineyard has won over 50 awards for its wines. Located at 3033-232nd Street in Langley, it’s open year round for wine tours (daily at 1 pm) and tastings (at $4 for a sampling of 4 wines). In addition to their onsite store, Backyard Vineyard’s wines can be found at BC VQA stores and Save-on-Foods, but not BC Government Liquor Stores.
- Chaberton Estate Winery – located at 1064-216th Street in Langley, this is the region’s largest winery with the largest fully operational bottling line. Public tours are free and take place once or twice a day and a sample of 4 wines costs $5.
- Township 7 Vineyards & Winery – also based in Langley, at 21152-16th Avenue, this vineyard produces small lots of handcrafted wines. On site there are self-guided tours and daily wine tastings.
- Vista D’oro Farms & Winery – located at 346-208th Street in Langley, this winery is open from Thursday to Sunday and offers wines for sale and to taste in its Farmgate Market & Tasting Room.
- Maan Farms – a popular farm with petting zoo, children’s play areas and fresh produce for sale, plus its own award-winning wines at 790 McKenzie Road in Abbotsford. Tastings are free and their dessert wines include blackberry, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry, all of which sell for about $23 and are made with their own farm-grown berries. Their Maan Trois wine is also very good, having won first place at a 2016 New York wine competition.
TIP: If you plan to visit Backyard Vineyards, Chaberton Estate Winery, Township 7 or Vista D’oro, make it a self-guided tour and visit all four as they are all fairly close together.
Area wineries specializing in fruits and ingredients other than grapes include the following:
- Maan Farms – see above.
- The Fort Wine Co. – specializing in cranberry wine, this winery is located just a short distance from Fort Langley at 26151-84th Avenue. Wine tastings are free for a sample of three, or $5 for a taste of all their wines.
- Campbell’s Gold – this place specializes in honey wine, so it’s a meadery as opposed to a winery. Located at 2595 Lefeuvre Road in Abbotsford, it’s open most days except Mondays, statutory holidays and the month of January.
- Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery – products here include strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, apple and even rhubarb wines. The berry farm and winery are located at 617-248th Street in Langley and the main market is open daily from around mid-May until December.
Wineries in Metro Vancouver
There are a number of wineries outside the Fraser Valley, including the following:
- Pacific Breeze Winery – an award-winning urban “garage winery” located at #6-320 Stewardson Way in New Westminster. Tours and tastings take place on weekends, take about 45 minutes and cost $15 per person.
- Lulu Island Winery – located at 16880 Westminster Highway, Richmond’s largest winery makes both red and white table wines, as well as fruit wines and ice wines. Tastings are free any time, but tours are by reservation and done mostly through special deal programs like Groupon.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your winery tour visits and BC wine-tasting experience.
TIP #1: Wineries are interesting to visit anytime of the year, but the best time is during the harvest season between mid to late August and the beginning of October. That’s when the vines are at their most picturesque, the grapes are being picked and the crushing of grapes is in full swing.
TIP #2: Look for products with the VQA symbol, which means that the wine is certified as a British Columbia wine meeting specific standards with respect to vintage, origin and varietals, with VQA standing for Vintners Quality Alliance. There are some excellent BC wines that don’t have the VQA certification, but generally the better ones do.
TIP #3: Some wineries offer free tastings and others charge a nominal fee. Wineries that charge for a taste, however, generally refund the charge if you purchase a bottle of wine, which most people do.
TIP #4: Combine your tour of wineries with other sites in the region, and invite a designated-driver friend to go along with you. Also, if you go in the late summer or early fall check out the local farms and fruit stands on your way home. The Fraser Valley and Richmond/Delta regions are especially famous for their berries.
For more information on the Lower Mainland’s main wine producing region, see the Fraser Valley.
For information on a wine festival in the Fraser Valley, check out the Harrison Uncorked Wine Festival in Harrison Hot Springs which takes place in the spring.
For details about one of the largest wine events in Canada, see our article about the Vancouver International Wine Festival.