Though it started as a small berry stand in 1977, Maan Farms has spent the last three decades expanding, accommodating, and providing its community with a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of urban living. One constant during that time, however, has been the family's dedication to producing fresh edibles, from juicy berries picked during the summer, to the crisp vegetables and sweet corn that spread across tables in the fall. While visiting the farm, guests can utilize those wholesome treats as fuel to explore the property's collection of activities, including the Critter Corral, where pigs, bunnies, and ducks elicit wonder by munching scoops of food or re-enacting chapters from Charlotte's Web.
In addition to the year-round country market, guests can indulge in meals from resident chef, Marcel Pheiffer, in the country kitchen or at the VIP Chef's Table. A panoramic view of the valley, a renowned estate winery, and a versatile event center round out the lineup of attractions, which group tours, birthday parties, and campers can take advantage of throughout the year.
At first blush, Langley Wine Tours seems like a simple tourism booster, drawing attention to the lush vineyards that dot the region's rolling hills. That description is true, of course; the tour grants oenophiles access, tours, and tastings at seven destinations, including Back Yard Vineyards, and Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery. However, that's not where Langley Wine Tours magnanimity ends. Instead of keeping its well-earned money, the company donates 100% of its profits to the Langley Animal Protection Society. The company also gives back to its best customers; travelers can enter to win a variety of prizes by collecting tickets at each of their destinations, with gifts ranging from hotel stays and helicopter rides to cases of wine and singing telegrams delivered by the town crier.
What's proper etiquette for the queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for prime ministers, presidents, provincial premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine-dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre d'. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Lalibert? and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.
With Langley's picturesque countryside as its backdrop, Neck of the Woods Winery concocts red, white, and sparkling wines using grapes grown primarily in the surrounding Fraser Valley. The facility takes advantage of the area's cool climate–which is similar to that of Northern France and Germany–to oversee the entire production process from pressing to bottling. After spending quality time with their maker or a court-appointed barrel, products migrate to store shelves throughout Fraser Valley and Vancouver, or stay right at home in the winery's tasting room. There, visitors pass through daily to sample the varietals, or hang out in the showroom, warmly stocked with rustic casks and a crackling fireplace.
Winner of numerous plaudits, including WineMaker magazine's U-Vint of the Year award in 2009, Crescent Wines, an on-premise winemaking store, allows patrons the opportunity to select and bottle their own batches of vino. Would-be vintners can choose from six wine varietals—chardonnay, gewurztraminer, pinot grigio, cabernet shiraz, merlot, and valpolicella—from Crescent Wine's selection of high-quality wine kits for a total yield of 31 bottles of a single style. Once the selection process has run its course, Crescent Wine's staff members take over, using their patented methods of racking and handling your nascent libations during the fermentation process.
The award-winning Ott & Murphy Wines outfits fortuitous palettes with otherworldly wines, handcrafted in the French winemaking tradition. From a waterside tasting room overlooking the Puget Sound’s Saratoga Passage and the Cascades beyond, you and a fellow burgeoning oenophile will sample 2-ounce pours of four wines from Ott & Murphy’s current stock. Leave unadventurous taste buds at home when sampling sips such as the 2008 tempranillo, a bright, fruity vintage wafting forth scents of berry, cola, caramel, and coffee, or the 2009 viognier, a dry Northern Rhone white blend that recalls violets, honeysuckle, and straw, supplemented by tastes of peach, apricot, melon, and minerals to form a vino that's both fruity and floral, like a popsicle shrub. Complement a night of imbibing by nibbling on two custom truffles, made with Ott & Murphy’s own tempranillo grape tears and silky-smooth chocolate tongue paint.