Wineries and Wine Bars in Vancouver for Sipping Local

Photo: LuLu Island Winery

British Columbia is known for its incredible, award-winning wine.

Vancouver has numerous nearby wineries where you can go on vineyard tours as well as spend time in their tasting rooms sipping wines made from B.C. grapes. The city also has wine bars that offer a wide variety of local selections, paired with artisanal eats.

Below are 5 wineries to visit, as well as an overview of stellar wine bars in the city.

LuLu Island Winery

Photo: LuLu Island Winery

Located in Richmond, LuLu Island Winery is operated by John and Allison Chang who in 2011 initially launched Blossom Winery, which specializes in ice and fruit wines. In 2009, they launched LuLu Island Winery, featuring Richmond’s first vineyard. While the Changs have multiple vineyards, some in the Okanagan for ice wine grapes, their Richmond vineyard features two varietals suited to Vancouver’s climate. Popular are their fruit wines (e.g., raspberry) made from produce sourced locally; their ice wines (e.g., viognier); and other wines, such as their Riesling and Muscat.

There are many different things to do when you visit the Winery. They feature two tours: a Discovery Tour (45 minutes), which includes learning about the Winery’s history, in addition to enjoying a wine tasting with paired cheeses; the second is the Estate Tour (60 minutes), which focuses on their process of wine-making and concludes with a tasting, paired with charcuterie. Alternatively, you could opt for the Seated Tasting Experience, which gives you a flight of three wines paired with cheese and crackers, or go for the general tastings, which are first-come-first-served.

They also have Sunday summer yoga classes (Aug 20 and 27), which come with brunch and a glass of wine after the yoga. They’ve also brought back their Summer Picnic Series (September 2), which consists of a magical afternoon of live local music, charcuterie, and wine in the Winery’s grapevine tunnel.

Vancouver Urban Winery

Photo: Belgard Kitchen

If you’re looking for a winery right in the city, you can visit Vancouver Urban Winery, situated in Railtown. Grapes are from the Okanagan with wines made in small batches at their Vancouver facility. You can taste their wines, as well as other BC selections at their restaurant Belgard Kitchen, which has 36 different wines, as well as beer and cider on tap. Their locally-focused seasonal cuisine is delicious. Their wines range from the ‘55’ Rose 2022 to the ‘Vanbrusco’ Frizzante Red 2019.

La Fabrique St-George Winery

Photo: Tara Lee

La Fabrique has a super cool hybrid concept. In Mount Pleasant, you’ll find a winery that makes their natural wines from BC grapes in a qvevri (earthenware). You can enjoy them by the glass, along with cheese, charcuterie, and accompaniments, which you buy grocery-store style and then serve yourself with cutting boards, plates, knives, and cutlery provided by La Fabrique. There is also Buvette St-George, a stand-up bar for sipping wine and enjoying good company.

Township 7 Vineyards and Winery

Photo: Township 7 Vineyards and Winery

Most of Vancouver’s nearby wineries, such as Township 7 Vineyards and Winery, are located in Langley. While Township 7 also has a vineyard in the Okanagan, you can visit their Langley location to purchase wine as well as partake in a wine tasting. Although you can walk in, reservations are strongly recommended.

Township 7 offers 3 types of tastings: a seven stars Sparkling Series (they’re particularly known for these); their Benchmark Series; and their Provenance Series. They also host numerous events (particularly in the summer), such as Live Music Friday, Art in the Vines Market, an annual grape stomp, and wine tasting sessions (sometimes with a crafting component, like wreathmaking).

Chaberton Estate Winery

Photo: Chaberton Estate Winery

Another Langley-based winery, Chaberton Estate Winery is the longest running one in the Fraser Valley. It began when Claude and Inge Violet, French wine-makers, moved to British Columbia in 1975, eventually planting a vineyard in the 1980s and launching production in 1991. Now owned and operated by Anthony Cheng and Eugene Kwan, the winery produces using grapes from their Langley vineyard as well as from vineyards in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valley.

When you visit, you can go on a tour of their process, including their vineyard, crush pad, and bottling line, and then sample their wines (there are daily public tours and private ones as well). Chaberton also has a tasting room, where you can sample various pours, and a wine shop for purchasing bottles such as their 2021 barrel-aged Chardonnay, 2019 Meritage, and 2017 Tribute fortified wine. Their outdoor picnic area is particularly idyllic.

Vista D’oro Farms & Winery

Photo: Vista D’oro

With beautiful views of the Golden Ears Mountains, this South Langley farm and winery is breathtaking and well worth a visit. Vista D’oro owners Patrick and Lee Murphy are truly lovely and have invested a lot of love in this dairy farm turned winery, farm, and culinary destination. Wines of theirs include their 2019 Drive #1 Red Blend (Maréchal Foch and Léon Millot), fortified NV D’oro, and 2021 Schonburger.

You can book a counter tasting, a tour and tasting, or a walkabout and tasting with Patrick. They also have their Pizzam trailer open every weekend until October (weather dependent), which serves their special pizza-with-jam creations, soft serve, and other treats. Grapes are also incorporated in the artisanal preserves (The Preservatory) that they produce and sell.

Wine Bars

Photo: The Wine Bar

The growth and refinement of British Columbia’s wine industry has been paralleled by the emergence of so many charming wine bars in the city, many of them spotlighting local wines (often natural) as well as pouring international selections.

The Bar at Provence Marinaside offers views of the Yaletown seawall, in addition to an incredible over 125 selections of wine by the glass. The full menu from its adjoining sister restaurant (Provence) is available for pairing with your wine.

Bar Gobo, with a recommendation from Michelin, is a nook of a spot on the edge of Chinatown that prioritizes local and seasonal ingredients. Natural wines are the focus, with many interesting pours, both local and international.

Meanwhile, Grapes and Soda in South Granville is another place that also spotlights local food as well as natural, artisanal, and biodynamic wines. The list is tightly and expertly curated.

Is That French is a newish spot in Gastown (historic Blood Alley), which, despite its name, is an affectionate ode to BC wine, produce, and seafood. Their wines are not French but local ones that are sustainable and evidence minimal intervention. Is That French has a fun Happy Hour and live jazz every Thursday.

Fans of natural wine will like the whimsical Juice Bar located at the Birds and the Beets in the evenings. They’re always on the hunt for the best natural wines out there, with accompanying small plates celebrating the local and seasonal.

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