We left Horseshoe Bay as foot passengers on the 8:30am ferry for Nanaimo.
From Nanaimo we travelled by charter bus to Merridale for a tour of the cidery, and a lunch that paired a locally inspired appetizer, entrée, and dessert with the perfect cider for each.
At the exclusive Venturi-Schulze Vineyard, we met Giordano, Marilyn and Michelle for a tour of the vineyard and winery and their famous balsamic vinegary, followed by a fabulous five-course dinner paired with fine Venturi-Schulze wines. A rare and very special treat!
We enjoyed an evening wine social before retiring for the night at historic Fairburn Country Manor Farm, home of Canada’s only water buffalo herd. After breakfast, we met the herd and the Archer family and saw the plans for the water buffalo dairy.
At Engeler Farm we met Mara and Alphons for a tour of their vineyard and farm, a blind tasting of other Island wines followed by lunch, featuring local produce and Mara’s famous wood fired oven pizzas!
The afternoon saw us at Blue Grouse where owner and winemaker Hans Kiltz presented a tasting of his fine wines.
Time permitted a brief stop at historic Chemainus to see the picturesque wall murals and to enjoy an ice cream.