With over so many wineries, Vancouver is a premiere wine destination for grape-hounds all over the world. The Thompson Okanagan region has loads of vineyards to visit and can be explored by car, bike, or professional tour. Nearby award-winners include CedarCreek Estate Winery, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery.
Vancouver Island – just a short ferry ride and transfer away from the city – has vineyards that are open year-round for tastings, like Zanatta Winery (with 30 on-site varieties), Cherry Point (the second-largest on the island), and the family-owned Blue Grouse vineyards.
Wine shops in the city include Village VQA Wines (which has 100% BC wines and multiple locations, including Kitsilano and North Vancouver), and Liberty Wine Merchants (which has a wine school). You’ll also find numerous wineries over the border in Washington State – in case you’re planning on driving up or down the coast.
The Vancouver International Wine Festival is an international wine event that prides itself on being one of the oldest and biggest in the world, with competitions, tastings and pairings, esteemed winemakers, and educational seminars. Unfortunately, the Playhouse Theatre Company (which gave the original Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival its name) announced that this year will be its final year (2012) for financial reasons. The wine festival, however, will continue on its own. Advance tickets for the 2013 fest go on sale in November and January, depending on which event you’re after. The 35th anniversary festival dates next year are Feb 25-Mar 3; California will be a featured region and Chardonnay will be the featured global type.