Imagine that after a ferry through the Salish Sea, you arrive on the tranquil shores…
One of the iconic views on Salt Spring Island is that of the hillside Garry Oaks vineyard under the distinctive peak of Mount Maxwell. If you arrive on the ferry from Victoria to Fulford Harbour, your vacation time on the island begins with a winding drive between the grove of olive trees of Canada’s first Olive Farm and Garry Oak’s sweeping seven acres of beautifully terraced vines, green in summer and reddish gold in fall.
All of Garry Oaks wines are made from grapes grown on the island. Proprietor Nalini Samuel has instituted a number of sustainability practices, such as TCA-free corks and a large-scale mulching and composting program that converts pruned greenery and manure from neighbouring farms into soil-building material.
Marcel Mercier and Elaine Kozak, the couple who converted the farm from pasture to vineyard in 1999, determined the Austrian Zweigelt would be the ideal grape for the mountain-side Gulf Islands winery. With its cherry notes and full body, it is certainly worth a sip. Our sommelier at Manor Dining at Hastings House favours Garry Oaks’ Pinot Gris, and we are proud to serve it and the Zweigelt in our dining rooms.
The winery offers tastings Friday to Monday, noon – five pm in the summer, which is a wonderful opportunity to sample the full variety of wines. After the tastings, visitors can sit overlooking the vines to take in the atmosphere with a view over the lush Burgoyne Valley.
There is so much to do, see and taste on beautiful Salt Spring Island!