On the 2nd day of our 4-day long weekend in Victoria, we planned to visit a number of wineries on the Saanich Peninsula. Unfortunately, only 1 was open at this time of year, so we finished the day at another brewpub for lunch.
Our first stop was Roost Farm Centre on McTavish, close to Victoria Airport in Sidney. It was billed as an organic farm, bakery and estate winery. Other than craft breweries; wineries and bakeries are 2 of our favourite shopping experiences.
It is a 10 acre farm that grows most of the products used in the bakery and wine production. The bakery was rather small and included a small cafe with a few tables. They had a great selection of home-made pies and a variety of other baked goods, but we noted they were rather pricey. In the summer, they also have a bistro serving meals and wines. No wine tasting was available.
After a short drive to Brentwood, we planned to visit Church & State Winery, which is close to Butchart Gardens and is probably the largest local winery. I had checked their website and it stated open daily. However, I can only assume it took me to the Okanagon location, as their gates were closed. We had also planned to have lunch in their excellent restaurant.
Next on the agenda was de Vine Vineyard, which apparently is the only local winery that opens their tasting room during the winter months.
de Vine Vineyard entrance
The winery is situated atop a hill, up the circular driveway seen above. With the elevated location they apparently have a fantastic view across the San Juan Islands to Mt. Baker. Unfortunately it was raining heavily with low cloud base, so we missed the view. Yet another reason to return.
Richard, Karen & Judi at the de Vine tasting room
Their tasting room is spacious and nicely decorated with a solid wood bar, as seen above. In addition to a selection of wines, they also distill grape juice, producing a couple of gins and a vodka. A separate tasting fee is charged for wines and the spirits, but the fee is complimentary, if you make any purchase. As the designated driver for the wine tasting, I can’t comment on their wines, but Judi spoke highly of their 2 white wines and in addition, Richard & Karen complimented the reds. Richard also tried the gins, departing with a bottle.
Cabinet displaying their selection of spirits
As we departed the tasting room it was pouring and with no other wineries open, we decided to take a relaxed drive through some of the lesser roads through Central Saanich, rather than heading for the highway.
On checking our kids list of recommendations, we noted a brewpub a few miles outside downtown, which they highly recommended. Since we hadn’t had lunch, we headed for the 4-mile brewpub, on old Island Hwy about 1 mile passed Admirals.
4-Mile brewpub and restaurant
Wow, what an impressive Tudor style building, with a restaurant, brew pub, sports bar, brewery, well maintained gardens and extensive parking. We tried the brewpub and found it one of the most authentic British style pubs, with a solid wooden table and comfortable stuffed chairs, next to a fireplace. Impressed with the surroundings, you should have seen us when the young lady delivered the beer menus. Richard and I were literally drooling with anticipation, if this wasn’t nirvana, it must be close. Check their selection of regular and seasonal beers here. An excellent selection of British style ales, IPA’s and porters/stouts. I should mention that Richard is originally a fellow Brit, as we originally met at marine school back in 1976.
Being a brewpub, they don’t do tastings, but they will bring a couple of samples, prior to ordering a pint. The one that jumped out to both Richard and I was the Rice Pudding Porter, which isn’t included on the website. You guessed it, we both had the Porter, which was simply amazing. Some great flavours and really smooth. Karen had a lighter beer and Judi, having only had a couple of sips of white wine, assumed the driving duties.
Even the meals were fabulous. I started with yorkie sliders, which consisted of mini yorkshire puddings stuffed with roast beef, drizzled with horseradish and served with gravy. Check out the menu. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals.
Probably no great surprise, but both Richard & I left with growlers filled with the Rice Pudding Porter, which is an excellent segue into another story. On our return home, a couple of days later, the first question the kids asked was, “What did you think of 4-mile brew pub?” Amazing, was the response and we really enjoyed the Rice Pudding Porter. Well, apparently they didn’t have that beer when the kids visited, so I asked if they wanted to try it. Both Heather & Jamie loved it and needless to say, between the 3 of us we finished that growler and also the one containing the Chocolate Porter.