It wasn’t until living in upstate New York that I started appreciating local wineries, breweries and cideries. Now I find them some of my favorite places to visit with friends, especially if the sun is shining and we bring a picnic lunch. These tasting rooms literally give you a taste of the place, and when combined with good people and good food, give you a chance to slow down and appreciate things around you. They can also be great places to go with kids. For example, the Meridale Cidery in Cowichan offers samples and sales of excellent apple juice along with their amazing hard ciders, as well as having a cafe and a fun fairy walk to talk around and through their orchards.
Here are some of our favorites on the island. Click on the winery, brewery or cidery’s name for a link to their website, or click on the title in parentheses for a blog post about our visit there.