Colour me purple and intoxicated with joy when I received an invitation to the Langley Wine Tour as I can now scratch Item 2016 on my bucket list, but as for Item 2017 – accidentally falling in a wine barrel – let’s see how close I can get to achieving that goal today.
If you’re like me, you’re probably under the belief that there are about two or three 3 wineries in Langley. But to my surprise, there are actually seven wineries in Langley which makes it more convenient and less costly than that that wine tour you’ve been planning to the Okanagan or to Napa Valley, California. And with all that extra money you’ll be saving you can buy a keg or 10 and rolling out the barrel because you know the after party is at your house.
What is the Langley Passport? It’s a passport that allows you to collect stamps from each Langley winery to win prizes such as wine, hotel stays and helicopter rides. Pick up a passport at any Langley winery, Tourism Langley office, or participating Langley hotels or print off at home.
Once you have all 7 stamps, drop passport off at Holiday Inn Express or Best Western in Langley to win a prize. A new prize package is available each season.
On the media wine tour, we were able to visit 6 out of the 7 wineries. As we were running 20 minutes late, by the time we reached the Fort Wine Company, it was closed.
Founded in 2000, Township 7 has two BC wineries – one in the Fraser Valley and the other in the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan Valley. Their Metro Vancouver winery in Langley produces sparkling wine, dry, Provence style Rosé, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.
Township 7 has self guided tours and daily wine tastings plus a variety of other activities such as art shows, live music / theatre, charity fundraisers, wine seminars, community grape harvest / stomp, and winemaker dinners.
During our tour, we sampled the following:
- Black Dog 2010: named for the winemaker’s dog, its a blend that is in the moment, on the crushpad, as the juice comes out of the press. It is blended and barreled in the best barrels available and aged for more than 30 months in French and American oak before being bottled. Its dark, intense and big tannins with dark fruit, cherry, licorice and cassis overtones.
- 2007 Savignon Blanc: nice, light, fresh and crisp with pear, lime, kiwi and peach aromas.
- Merlot: having produced the Gold award winner at the 2013 All Canadian Wine Championship with their Merlot 2010, Township 7 can do no wrong with this Merlot.
- Reserve 7 Meritage 2008 is a full bodied wine with rich aroma of black cherries, chocolate and leather.
DOMAINE DE CHABERTON ESTATE WINERY
Roll out the barrel, each barrel costs $1,000 and is used 6 times
Located on 50 acres, Claude Violet (the founder) discovered that this property receives approximately 30% less rain than Vancouver which makes it idea for varietals similar to those of Northern France and Southern Germany. Also located in the Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery is the Zagat-rated Bacchus Bistro where one can enjoy authentic French fare and savour the wines at leisure.
Not only did we sample Madeleine Silevaner grapes that they were presently harvesting, but we were given a tour of the barrel room where the wines were “aging”.
Here we sampled:
- Unoaked 2012 Chardonnay: pleasant light crispy finish of apples, pears and melon, very refreshing.
- 2012 Siegerrebe B VQA that has light honey with apples that has made it a medal winning wine.
- 2009 AC50 – another BC VQA wine that is a luscious blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc that has robust and smooth tannins
VISTA D’ORO FARMS & WINERY
Located on 10 acres, Vista D’oro Farms & Winery grows heritage orchard fruits and vinifera grapes and sells homemade jams. Grapes are brought in from Cowichan Valley to make Pinot Noir. On site is a walnut tree under which you can enjoy picnic provisions along with their walnut dessert wine while Chablis, the winery’s white alsatian shepherd whose major duty is to chase the deer away from the grapevines, keeps you company.
Here we sampled:
- 2010 Murphys Law: blend of Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Voiginer and Chardonnay.
- Murphy’s Marchel Foch F-bomb –which is a blend of Cab Franc and Marechal Foch.
- Vista D’oro, their flagship wine which is a blend of North Okanagan Marechal Foch, Central Okanagan Merlot & Cabernet Franc, Fraser Valley Green Walnuts and Okanagan Brandy. If you can’t make it to Vista D’oro, you can buy it at the store at Edible Canada at Granville Island and they also serve it at their restaurant.
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