Skip to content

Winemaking began on Vancouver Island as early as the 1920s, with fruit wine made from local berries—a traditional that endures today, with not only fruit wine but honey wine (mead) and still and sparkling wine from grapes made here. It was a provincial government research project in the 1980s, tasked with identifying grape varietals that could thrive in the maritime climate (such as many hardy hybrid grapes), that really fuelled the modern wine industry. Today the Island boasts around 30 wineries, from the Comox Valley on the northeast coast down to Sooke, near the southern tip. 

Most are boutique-sized estates with grapes grown and wine made on site, and among them are many family-run enterprises where you’ll find a welcoming clan member pouring your tasting. Some offer tours and tastings only seasonally; if you’re visiting outside the June to September period, check ahead to confirm hours. In the summer and early fall season, even many wineries that don’t have full-service restaurants offer lovely picnic areas licensed for wine consumption with the food you’ll surely source from other local farms and producers. 

Plan your Island wine route with a designated driver and enjoy responsibly at the region’s wineries, restaurants and tasting bars. 

Part 1

Comox Valley Wineries

With a focus on sustainable farming and grape varietals suited to this cool coastal climate, boutique wineries here (including one owned by Titanic director James Cameron) excel at crisp, aromatic wines. 

40 Knots Estate Winery

One of the closest vineyards in the world to an ocean offers its Vineyard Terrace restaurant with popular Wine Wednesdays and live music, tours and tastings year-round (closed Mondays).

Beaufort Vineyard & Estate Winery

Owned by the legendary film director, James Cameron, Beaufort Vineyard may have Hollywood connections but is pure to its island roots. In September 2019, the vineyard and crops were officially certified organic. Over the years, they have garnered multiple awards from the All Canadian Wine Championships. 

Blue Moon Estate Winery

A little different from the rest in the Comox Valley, Blue Moon focuses on producing fruit wines and ciders thanks to its abundant organic berry farm.

Coastal Black Estate Winery

Coastal Black Winery has been serving up award-winning fruit wines, ciders, and mead since 2009. They even produce their own honey on-site!

Must Stop Spots

Part 2

Central Island Wineries

At wineries around Nanaimo, Parksville and the Alberni Valley you’ll find delicate, crisp white wines as well as some made from red grapes like as Dornfelder, Marechal Foch and Pinot Noir, including some of the oldest vines on the Island.

If you travel just a little more inland to the Alberni Valley, you’ll find Emerald Coast Vineyards, home to a 16-acre property that’s conveniently located alongside the Alberni Highways.

Meanwhile, in Nanaimo, two wineries are conveniently just down the road from each other which makes it easy to experience both, regardless of your timeframe. At Chateau Wolff Estate, you’ll find some of the oldest vineyards on the Island, with roots dating back as far as the early nineties. Meanwhile, down East Wellington Road at Millstone Estate Winery, the small family-run farm and vineyard produces Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Ortega, Gwertz, among others.

Must Stop Spots

Part 3

Cowichan Wineries

A long growing season means the wineries of this valley can produce lovely red, white, fruit, dessert and sparkling wines. A weekend stay or day-trip from Duncan gives a taste of equally vibrant cultural and agricultural scenes, where many local wineries proudly feature local art on their walls and restaurants and cafés proudly serve local food.

Averill Creek Vineyard
Sparkling wine is a highlight at this sleek modern winery (year-round tasting, weekends only in winter), with ocean views from the seasonal garden patio.

Blue Grouse Estate Winery
“We’re in a very different climate for growing. We have a lot of humidity,” says vineyard manager Michael Abbott, who’s currently converting the property to organic status. “There are a number of us who are going organic on the Island. I would say it’s a very feasible project; it’s just a matter of adapting our methods.” Discover the elegant white wines staying at the Grouse House vineyard retreat on the property.

Cherry Point Estate Wines
Year-round tastings feature more than a dozen diverse sips, from red and white varietals to sweet dessert wine. A seasonal bistro with patio nestles among the grapevines and cedars.

Emandare Vineyard
Extend your weekend tasting here with a stay: the two-bedroom Tractor Shed guest house has a hot tub, fireplace and luxe furnishings for comfortable sipping.

Unsworth Vineyards
Pair your tasting of red, white, rosé and sparkling wines with a bite in the year-round restaurant, located in a restored barn, or on the seasonal pizza patio overlooking apple and
walnut orchards plus an herb and vegetable garden.

Venturi Schulze
This organic farm not only makes red and white wines but also gourmet jams and balsamic-style vinegar, available from the year-round Farmstore (by-appointment tasting only in winter).

Zanatta Winery
Taste red, white, rosé and sparkling wine at this regional pioneer that participated in the 1980s Duncan Project that established the best grape varietals for Island growing.

Must Stop Spots

Part 4

South Island Wineries

A summer drive around the rural Saanich Peninsula charmingly meanders past not only wineries, but farm stands with “honour boxes” to pay for everything from eggs to pies. 

Church & State Wines
A wrap-around terrace building houses the gorgeous Tasting Bar and Bistro (open most of the year) at this Brentwood Bay outpost of the popular B.C. winery, the largest on the Island.

DeVine Vineyards & Spirits
“Once I worked with cool-climate grapes, I learned to love them,” says winemaker Ken Winchester, who first studied and worked in California. DeVine farms organically, which “is the right thing to do,” says Winchester. “Good farming is about creating balance.”

The Roost Farm Centre & Highland House Farm Winery
A tasting of delicious white and various fruit wines is enhanced by a seasonal bakery-café visit (eat it the quirky refurbished bus outside) or bistro lunch and farm tour… ask to see the wine cellar “dungeon”!

Must Stop Spots

Coastal Black Estate Winery

2186 Endall Rd, Black Creek, BC V9J 1G8

Beaufort Vineyard & Estate Winery

5854 Pickering Rd, Courtenay, BC V9J 1T4

40 Knots Estate Winery

2400 Anderson Rd., Comox, BC V9M 4B2

Blue Moon Estate Winery & Cider Worx

4905 Darcy Rd, Courtenay, BC, V9J 1R5

Chateau Wolff Estates

2534 Maxey Rd., Nanaimo, BC V9S 5V6

Emerald Coast Vineyard

2787 Alberni Highway, Port Alberni, BC V9Y 8R2

Millstone Estate Winery

2300 East Wellington Rd., Nanaimo, BC V9R 6V7

Alderlea Vineyards

1751 Stamps Rd., Duncan, BC V9L 5W2

Emandare Vineyard & Winery

6798 Norcross Rd., Duncan V9L 6C3

Averill Creek Vineyard

6552 North Rd., Duncan, BC V9L 6K9

Deol Estate Winery

6645 Somenos Rd., Duncan, BC V9L 5Z3

Zanatta Winery

5039 Marshall Rd., Duncan, BC

Blue Grouse Estate Winery & Vineyard

2182 Lakeside Rd., Duncan, BC V9L 6M3

Rocky Creek Winery

1854 Myherst Rd., Cowichan Bay, BC V0R 1N1

Venturi-Schulze Vineyards

4235 Vineyard Rd., Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L5

Divino Estate Winery

1500 Freeman Rd., Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L3

Cherry Point Estate Wines

840 Cherry Point Rd., Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L3

Damali Lavender & Winery

3500 Telegraph Rd., Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L4

Enrico Winery

3280 Telegraph Rd., Mill Bay, BC V0R 2P3

Unsworth Vineyards

2915 Cameron Taggart Rd. #1, Mill Bay, BC V0R 2P2

Glenterra Vineyards

3897 Cobble Hill Rd., Cobble Hill, BC V0R 1L5

Deep Cove Winery

11195 Chalet Rd., North Saanich, BC V8L 5M1

Domaine Rochette Winery

10555 West Saanich Rd., North Saanich, BC V8L 5L6

The Roost Farm Centre & Highland House Farm Winery

9100 East Saanich Rd., North Saanich, BC V8M 2B4

Symphony Vineyard

6409B Oldfield Road, Saanichton, BC V8M 1X8

De Vine Vineyards & Spirits

6181B Old West Saanich Road, Saanichton, BC V8M 1W8

Church & State Wineries

1445 Benvenuto Ave., Victoria, BC V8M 1J5

Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery

8750 West Coast Rd., Sooke, BC V9Z 1H2