- 3-day private wine-tasting tour from Vancouver to Victoria and the Gulf Islands
- Wine tasting and winery tours at boutique vineyards
- Afternoon tea in the Butchart Gardens
- City tour of old Victoria
- Mini cruises through the Gulf Islands
- Accommodation for two nights in deluxe hotels
What You Can Expect
Over three full days and two nights, you will fill up on fine wine, go on several winery tours, enjoy a classic afternoon tea at the beautiful Butchart Gardens, learn about old Victoria on an Inner Harbour walking tour, and feel the wind in your hair on inner-island ferries. Deluxe accommodations and daily breakfasts are included, as are wine-tasting fees, winery tours, all of your transportation and admission and tea at Butchart Gardens.
This is a completely private tour for your group alone, and it is run at a casual and comfortable pace so you will have the most pleasurable time possible.
Depart Vancouver in the morning and travel through the agricultural lands south of the city, arriving at the ferry terminal at Tsawwassen in time to catch the first morning cruise.
The small islands off the coast of British Columbia have become known for reclusive poets, privacy-seeking movie stars, artist's studios, 4th-generation fishing families and wine growing. The group that lies within the United States is called the San Juan Islands, and the Canadian group is known as the Gulf Islands. On board the ferry, you will find a gift shop, coffee shop, restaurant and plenty of comfortable seating for the 1.5-hour trip. The cruise through the islands is worth the trip all by itself. Although the ferry schedule is well kept, the rest of time seems to run at a different speed here in the islands. Relax and enjoy it.
Arrive on Salt Spring Island in time for lunch and wine tastings at two wineries.
At Salt Spring Vineyards Winery, enjoy a tasting of wine and "fruit wine" made from locally grown, sustainably produced grapes, blackberries and apples. No herbicides or pesticides are used in these hand-crafted wines.
At Garry Oaks Winery, your tour includes an hour with either Marcel (the viticulturist) or Elaine (the winemaker). If your group is knowledgeable about wine, you may hear from both if they are available. The tour includes about 20 minutes walking around the 10-acre ( 4.05-hectare) vineyard while you discuss the history of the winery and how the vineyard was created. You’ll hear about the character and challenges of the site, the varieties of grapes planted and the annual life cycle of the vines. Another 10 – 15 minutes are spent touring the winery and talking about the setup, crush process, philosophy of wine making and the life cycle of a vintage. You’ll then taste all the wines available at the time! Garry Oaks produces five wines, but some may be sold out depending on the time of year. If your group is large enough, a special private area for wine tasting will be set up.
Visit a local artist's studio and have time to visit with the artist and learn about their craft.
Overnight on Salt Spring Island. Accommodations at the Wisteria Guest House (or equivalent), a quaint B&B that has a 5 star rating on Yelp! and is ranked as the second best place to stay on Salt Spring Island on TripAdvisor!
Day Two: Salt Spring Island - Saanich Peninsula - Victoria
After breakfast (included), enjoy a late morning departure on a short ferry ride to Vancouver Island, where you’ll visit wineries on the Saanich Peninsula.
Hidden in Deep Cove on South Vancouver Island is Chalet Estate Winery, a small, self-sustaining family winery founded by Michael Betts and Linda Plimley. This boutique winery has been producing fine, limited-edition wines since 2001. Your fine wine experience begins in the vineyard, where the vines are strictly adhered to organic practices using natural ingredients to fertilize the vines and control weeds. Extensive canopy management and hand-cropping and -picking ensures that only the finest fruit is used in the production of these award-winning wines, which include no sulphites.
At Church and State Winery, the name says it all, symbolizing a balance between the many elements involved in creating wine of the highest quality. Most of their wines are aged in fine French barrels and you're sure to enjoy the rich, balanced flavors as you sample their wines.
Marley Farm Winery is a family-owned and -operated winery located in the tranquil Mount Newton Valley. The Marley family takes their wine seriously and grows the best-suited varietals for the local microclimate – Pinot Grigio, Ortega and Pinot Noir.
Arrive in Victoria in the late afternoon, taking a city tour to orientate yourself to this lovely city. Your evening is free to spend as you’d like.
Overnight in Victoria. Accommodations at one of three 4 to 5 star rated hotels in Victoria, BC.
Day Three: Victoria - Butchart Gardens - Vancouver
In the early morning, you have free time in Victoria, where you can explore on your own or accompany your guide on a walking tour of Victoria's Inner Harbour, where all the main attractions are located – the Empress Hotel, Legislature Building, Wax Museum, Royal BC Museum, Bug Zoo, Maritime Museum, Pioneer Square and Fan Tan Ally, plus the Inner Harbour walkway itself. Entrance to one attraction is included in your tour price. Victoria, sometimes called the "Garden City," is well named – it is British Columbia's capital and oldest city, has the quaint charm of Victorian England, and is home to the fabulous Butchart Gardens.
You’ll departure for Butchart Gardens in the late morning. The gardens are one of the world's premier floral show gardens. Jennie Butchart began shaping this magnificent landscape in 1904, when she established, in the style of the grand estates of the period, several distinct gardens that evoke a range of aesthetic experiences. One such feature is the abandoned limestone quarry that was transformed into the dramatic Sunken Garden, a reflection of the early 20th-century beautification movement. Through successive generations of the Butchart family, the gardens retain much of their original design and continue the Victorian tradition of seasonally changing the outstanding floral displays. Afternoon tea at the gardens is included (lunch); spend the afternoon exploring the gardens before your return trip to Vancouver via the ferry.