Vancouver Island Expeditions Adventure - Unsworth Vineyards & Merridale Cidery (Part 2)

 After our wonderful visit to the Teafarm, Leif explained that we would now visit our first winery of the journey! Unsworth Vineyards was a short but scenic drive through the lush green farm land of the Cowichan Valley.

View from the parking lot 
 The sun had decided to come out in full force the moment we pulled up to the absolutely gorgeous grounds of the vineyard. We couldn't have asked for a better day to do a Cowichan Valley Wine Tour.

 Prior to doing a tasting of the wine varieties, we took a short self-guided tour. We looked in awe over the 12 acres of grape varieties. The Mediterranean-like microclimate makes the grapes very happy (and wine lovers!). Leif had a plethora of wine knowledge and we chatted about the processes that were used to make the different types of wine. 

 Then it was time to try out the delicious Cowichan Valley produced wines!
Unsworth tasting room!
The flight of wines we tried

The first two were whites, the Cuvée L'ile and the Allegro 2012. Both delicious and crisp but I preferred the Cuvée for the apple tones.

Next up was the Symphony 2011 a mid-weight ruby red. 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet-Libre, this was our favourite with the deep rich flavours of plum, ripe cherries and subtle spice. Couldn't help but purchase a bottle of this! Last but not least was the Ovation, a Crimson red port style with a ton of deep flavour. It was fantastic!

 After a few tastings we were now ready to have lunch, onward to Merridale Cidery!  

The Merridale Cider grounds! 
 Things you should know about Merridale: 

One of their many types of thin crust pizza
  • All their ciders are made from 100% pure juice (no concentrates, chemicals or pasteurization)
  • The orchard rows are hand weeded, so no pesticides or herbicides are used! 
  • They are partnered with the Land Conservancy to continue to develop habitat in the orchards that is attractive to the native bees.
  • They offer 7 different cider varieties as well as fortified wines and even a fruit based vodka (Frizz)
  • They have an amazing outdoor kitchen on their patio! 
Before we ordered lunch we had tastings of their "Best English Style Ciders in Canada". We started with the very dry Traditional and finished off with the sweeter Merri Berri. We had a delightful lunch on the outdoor patio overlooking the apple orchard and gorgeous Cowichan Valley scenery. Even if you aren't a cider fan, Merridale is a MUST visit for the bistro alone! They are open year round for brunch and lunch! The food and service was phenomenal! 

Unsworth on Twitter & Facebook 
Merridale on Twitter & Facebook



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