Before we took a brief break for our holiday in the Mediterranean, I was invited by Jelly Marketing to experience the Langley Passport Wine Route. It is a new program that encourages visitors to check out the seven wineries in Langley. Yes, there are indeed 7 wineries in Langley. I knew about 5 of them prior to this tour — in fact, I visited 3 of them just three years ago — so some were new to me and I was quite excited about visiting them. Especially after our wine getaway in Oliver this summer (see Part 1 and Part 2 here), I was keen to find out what’s available much closer to home.
The premise of the program is quite straightforward. You pick up a copy of the passport at any of the participating wineries or partner hotels in Langley, then you take your time to visit each winery, get a stamp after each visit, and then you will be entered into a draw for some great prizes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to visit them all on the same day, because that would be quite irresponsible to ask you to drink that much in one day. Well, we did on the tour, but we had the luxury of travelling on a coach bus.
First stop, Township 7. Manager Jason gave us a background on Township and explained each wine in detail. We tried 2 whites and 4 reds, including a barrel sample of the Black Dog, which is a wine club exclusive with limited availability (only 118 cases).
We also took a sneak peek at the new wine tasting room and new wine labels. I quite enjoyed 2011 Sauvignon Blanc and 2009 Merlot (no longer on the shelf, only the 2010 is available now).
Next stop, Domaine de Chaberton, which is the 5th largest estate winery in BC. We were given a tour around the vineyard, the bottling facility, the barrel cellar, and of course, a stop at the tasting room.
Because I’ve been there before, I was quite familiar with its wines. But I tried the 2012 Siegerrebe for the first time and really liked its floral scent/fruity taste. Good summer wine.
You must have had Vista D’oro’s Figs & Walnut Wine Jam before (if you haven’t, please go get one because you’re missing out on a lot!). Vista D’oro is a small farm & winery but it produces interesting wines and preserves.
Oh while you are getting the Figs & Walnut Wine Jam, please also stock up on the D’oro 2007 Fortified Walnut Wine. It was sooo good. It’s sweet, with a nutty flavour, and you can definitely taste the booze. It makes a great dessert wine, or you can drizzle it over some vanilla ice cream. I bought a bottle right there, so did many others on the bus!
Wines at Blackwood Lane are more expensive, but they pride themselves for not using any chemicals in their production. Owner Carlos Lee’s story of mechanical engineer turn wine maker was quite interesting. Of the wines we tasted, I thought the 2010 The Rebel Syrah was pretty good.
You may not be familiar with Backyard Vineyards, but you might have heard of Neck of the Woods Winery, which has now been re-branded to Backyard. Its wine maker James came from the Okanagan, so you know it’s the quality and experience that you can trust.
Backyard wants to make wine affordable for most; therefore, their wines are mostly priced below $20. The 2012 Nosey Neighbour White (a blended white) had a fragrant, fruity note, and it’s priced at $13.99. I thought it’s a very reasonable price!
Lastly, we visited the new kids on the block. Krause Berry Farms has been a local favourite for fresh berries and fruit, but its winery has just opened earlier this year. You should check out the Western-themed decor of the wine tasting room.
As you may have guessed, their wines are all fruit wines, similar to Fort Wine Co. I tried a few, and thought the Blackberry Portoe (port-style wine) was quite good. And check out their boot-shape wine tasting glass, so cool!
I would love to tell you about the experience at Fort Wine Co., but for some unforeseen reasons it didn’t pan out. But you can read about my visit a few years ago here.
In the end, I enjoyed my visit to all Langley wineries and I thought the Langley Passport could be an eye-opener for those who didn’t think good wines exist in the Fraser Valley. To learn more about the program visit its website www.langleypassport.com. This season’s draw ends on Nov 21.
More pictures are also available in the Flickr album here: