In 1993, Ms. Bonny Brown formed Grapefully Yours to bring the secrets of wine- and beer-making to the masses. Today, her dream is housed inside Grape Plus Wine Cellar, which is owned by Betsy Rong. Her staff walks customers through selecting and fermenting their chosen brew—a simple process that can treat palates to dozens of red, white, and fruit mist wines, which fuse juicy flavours such as banana and pineapple. An air conditioner's gentle breeze keeps mixtures cool on their journey from grape to wine before bottle-filling and corking machines ready potables to pour into wineglasses or empty ice-cube trays. Additionally, the staff can emblazon bottles with custom labels or dispense beer kits that let customers create bubbly lagers and ales.
After helping to kick-start British Columbia's craft-brewery movement back in 1989, Whistler Brewing Company upholds its pioneering approach by crafting new and unique brews that brim with the tastes of B.C. The creations possess flavours for every palate, ranging from the 100-per-cent-organic B.C. honey of the Bear Paw Honey Lager to the chocolate and roasted-coffee notes of the award-winning Black Tusk Ale. The beverages can be savoured at home by the keg or bottle, or from the bar in the brewery’s tap house, which pairs its seasonal ales and current drafts with a menu of hop-complementing fare. The brewsmiths also open their doors twice daily to offer a glimpse of the facility's inner workings during brewery tours, which take patrons through the maze of copper brew kettles and bubbling witch cauldrons to illustrate the fermenting and flavouring process before giving guests their own suds to sample.
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.
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.