The Cowichan area, where Cobble Hill is located, is one of the key agricultural regions of Vancouver Island, because of its unusually long growing season and mild winters. These factors allow farms in the region to produce a variety of crops, like hay and numerous fruits and vegetables including, since the last two decades, wine grapes. This recent introduction of wine grapes to the area’s agricultural repertoire makes the Cowichan area B.C’s newest wine-producing region, and several vineyards are proving they have the mettle to measure up to the vintners of the Okanagan.
Highlights of Cherry Point Estates
- Award-winning wines
- Charming bistro
- Wine tastings
- Vineyard and winery tours
- Gorgeous special events venue
Cherry Point Estates became one of the first licensed wineries on Vancouver Island in 1994, and its success makes it one to watch. The vineyard at Cherry Point was first planted in 1990, on 34 acres of land just south of Cowichan Bay. Since growing wine-grapes was relatively new to the area at the time, no one really knew which grapes were best suited to the island’s climate and terrain. So, the owners of Cherry Point initially planted several different types of wine grapes, in an effort to determine the best matches for their area.
Cherry Point Estates Today
Today, the vineyard at Cherry Point is the second largest on Vancouver Island. Long after the initial period of trial and error, it now sports grape varieties that are well suited to the area’s climate, including Castel, Ortega, Epicure, Pinot Gris, and several others. At Cherry Point, the emphasis is placed on interfering with Nature as little as possible, in order to produce the award-winning wines that they are quickly becoming noted for. At the beginning of October, when the grapes are reaching their peak, they are hand-picked and transformed into wine through gentle pressing, using state-of-the art equipment and locally-sourced ingredients like the blackberries used to craft their popular Solara dessert wine.
Even if you aren’t much of a wine drinker, there are other reasons to visit the Estate. The Cherry Point Bistro offers phenomenal food and top-notch service in a quaint, enchanting environment. Although it’s sometimes marketed as having an international menu, the bistro largely offers excellent local fare, including seafood harvested off the coast of British Columbia. Their menu also includes a selection of wines and spirits produced at the vineyard, complementing the food perfectly. The prices for both the food and the drinks are reasonable, considering the quality of the offerings, which have many loyal visitors returning time and again.
When you visit the Estates, whether it’s to tour the winery, enjoy a wine tasting or eat at the bistro, the impression you get is that the owners and staff love what they do, and it shows in the quality of their wines, food, and the overall experience. Although the reputation of Cherry Point Estates was built on their award-winning wines, their charming bistro and pleasant atmosphere, together with their in-depth knowledge of their craft and obvious love of what they do, mean that a visit to Cherry Point Estates is sure to be remembered for a long time.