Exploring the Vino in our Backyard

I know when us Vancouverrites think of BC wineries, our minds go straight to the Okanagan or Osoyoos but we tend to forget about the ones in our backyard. The Campbell Valley Wine Route includes Glass House Estate to Backyard Vinyards and Township7.

My favourite winery in Campbell Valley is Glass House Estate Winery, which is a family owned vineyard that’s managed by the Joesph Richards Group, produces hand selected, single vineyard, low yield artisan wine. They came to the name “Glass House” as it tributes the family’s 60 year history in the green house industry. After selling their green house business in 2004, Aruthor and Ingrid de Jong purchased an over grown Christmas tree farm that is now Glass House Winery. I enjoy the vibe of the inward. I’ve been a few times but my first was a spontaneous trip with one of my Guardians, K. K and I did a tasting at the bar then shared a charcuterie board and had a glass of wine at a picnic table out back. The vibe at Glass House is what has me wanting to go back. During the summer on the weekends, they usually have a band or musician out playing live music for everyone.

From bubbles to Viognier, Pinto Noir and even a Dulcedo dessert wine and a food menu full of charcuterie, tacos and other west coast style finger food, Glass House is the ideal spot to enjoy a wine tasting and a bite to eat. They are also participating in Dine Out with a set three course menu for $49 per person.

Backyard Vineyards was another good one. Opening in 2009, it has been producing awed winning wines made completely in BC. Backyard has a cozy tasting room with a laid back but sophisticated vibe. Liam Berti is the heart to the wines. He joined the team three vintages ago pouring everything he has into making outstanding wines. Liam says, “The opportunity to contribute to the worldwide conversation of wine through the lens of BC fruit is enormously exciting for the whole production team at Backyard Vineyards.” Backyard offers different tours through the winery including private tours and a tour through the production of the wine followed by a wine tasting. Due to COVID-19, they are not doing tours at the moment, but you can come in for a tasting. K also had a great experience when a man walked in on her in the bathroom because she didn’t lock the door. A nice show for the man.

Township7 began all the way back in 2000. Over the years, some things have changed at Township like their new cellar style tasting room and sing but their principles and focus have not. They are just about “making quality wine and nothing else.”They also have a second location in the Naramata Bench, which you will have to pop in for a tasting to learn how they came to this spot.

Their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are destined for sparkling wine as their vineyard is the perfect spot for growing their grapes in a champagne style. Township have a seven stars club dedicated to their sparking wine. They were one of the first bC wineries to create a méthod champenoise with their inaugural seven stars 1999. They have won numerous awards for this including Best Canadian Speaking Wine at the prestigious Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2019 in London, England. Winemaker, Mary McDermott’s passion and expertise in traditional wines has helped expanding their cuvées. By joining the seven stars club, you will received six bottles of their sparkling wine twice a year as well as many discounts on other purchases and tastings.

My mom and her friend have also done the Campbell Valley Wine Run, where they ran to five of the wineries, did a tasting at each and of course finished in first because they aren’t competitive at all. I’m not sure if i can run after doing a wine tasting but props to them.

Back to K and I’s day trip, we only had one bad experience where a winery was very rude to us. We were told wonderful things about this certain winery but I guess they thought we were two rowdy 20- something year olds but little do they know we are sophisticated students who enjoy wine. Not saying any names but they are usually a house wine to a lot of local restaurants (hint hint). When I was telling K that I was writing about the Campbell Valley wineries, her first response was, “make sure you say *insert name here* was MEAN.” Safe to say we will not be going back but hopefully you have a better experience than us. The other wineries in the Campbell Valley are lovely spots to escape for a tasting or a glass of wine.

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