British Columbia’s Okanagan region has a vine-full of wineries to visit. But you don’t have to drive that far if you’re thirsty for a tasty glass of unique West Coast wine. Richmond has a boutique array of intriguing wineries to check out—and they’re perfect for an afternoon of libation-focused exploration (with a designated driver, of course). Curious to know what the city’s local wine list looks like? Read on for some of our favourites.
13060 Steveston Highway
A genuine rustic charmer that’s also Richmond’s most family-friendly winery, Country Vines Winery is a delightful spot to spend a laid-back afternoon. With its antique tractor collection, wood-fired pizza patio (smoked salmon recommended), and menagerie of farmyard animals to point your camera at—including goats, wandering chickens and even a pair of Clydesdale horses—it’s like taking a trip to the countryside without having to leave the city.
Country Vines Winery in Richmond. | Photo: John Lee
Alongside these inviting extras, the cottage-like tasting room is well worth a visit. Tastings are free and the pourers here love telling you all about their surprisingly wide array of wines and how ultra-local they all are: the fourth-generation farm family behind the operation grows their own Pinot Gris, Schonburger, and Pearl de Csaba grapes right here in the city.
During your tastings, don’t miss the flavourful, pink-tinged Pinot Gris—an award-winning bestseller—but also consider their Pinot Noir, Shameless Rosé, and sweet Yee Haw dessert wine as well. Price-wise, almost every bottle is under $20, which means you’ll likely have plenty of cash left over to load up on fresh produce at the huge Richmond Country Farms market located right next door—it’s owned by the same family.
12791 Blundell Road
Richmond’s specialty fruit wine destination, Canada Berries Winery has produced many intriguing libations over the years, deploying BC’s lush bounty of raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, cranberries, and peaches to full effect. But their velvet-smooth blueberry-based wines—from Blue King Merlot to Blue Queen Dry––are the reason many visitors keep coming back for a celebratory bottle or two to take home.
Not sure about fruit wines? Drop by Canada Berries’ gable-roofed tasting room and onsite shop for an informative chat with a server—and a sip or two that might change your perceptions of how you think fruit wines taste. And while you’re here, check out the store’s additional fruit-based goodies, ranging from berry jellies to frozen and dried blueberries and cranberries. Canada Berries doesn’t offer tours for individual visitors, although group tours may be available on request.
Canada Berries Winery in Richmond. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
16880 Westminster Highway
Richmond’s best-known winery is housed in a landmark, stone-clad estate building that looks like it was transplanted straight from the vine-striped hills of Tuscany. But it’s not just about looks here: sourcing their berries from Richmond and their grapes from the Okanagan, Lulu Island Winery produces everything from blueberry and raspberry fruit wines to red and white table wines (the smooth, slightly smoky 2012 Merlot is recommended).
But it’s their sweet icewines that have become Lulu Island’s signature over the years, winning multiple awards in Canada, China and beyond. Looking for a tasty gift for a wine-loving friend? Pick-up a bottle of Riesling Chardonnay Icewine and add a bar of icewine-flavoured chocolate from the onsite store. Winery tours are also available here—there are often deals on Groupon—or you can simply roll up to the long tasting bar for a sip or two. And don’t miss a stroll around the grape-growing grounds outside, complete with a cleverly cultivated, walk-though vine tunnel that’s perfect for snapping a cool selfie or two.
Lulu Island Winery in Richmond. | Photo: Tourism Richmond