Cheers to Fall! Our Favourite Fall Wines, Ciders and Seasonal Beers

It’s getting chilly out there! With the days getting shorter and the weather making everyone bundle up, you may be missing those sunny days on a patio or the beach sipping your favourite drink, we are too! But there are lots of incredible seasonal drinks to try that will see you through the winter. So, ditch the sunny Aperol and easy-drinking pilsner and give one of these incredible, local potables a try…who knows you may just find your new winter favourite!  

Breezy Beers

Category 12 Brewing 

This local brewery is known for their bold branding and even bolder beers. With an incredible attention to detail and constant tinkering by head brew master Michael Kuzyk, Category 12 has some delicious seasonal beers that are perfect for fall.

  • Excitation: This bold and smooth cacao nib espresso stout is an ideal fall sipper. If you love coffee and chocolate, this beer should be on your list! Don’t worry though, it won’t get you jittery – it has a lower caffeine content than decaf coffee. It’s the perfect way to wind down as you watch the weather roll in at Oceanfront Escape.

Driftwood Brewery

The brew masters at Driftwood Brewery are uncompromising in their craft and dedication to creating a wide variety of incredible beers. While their lineup of core brews is popular year-round, their seasonal beers are more than worthy of a taste test. 

  • Blackstone Porter: Unlike some heavier porters, this session porter retains the full-bodied flavours of chocolate and coffee that are expected of this type of beer with a crisp finish so you can enjoy more than one. Great pairing with board games or your favourite series while curling up on the sofa at Arbutus Hill.

Hoyne Brewing Co.

At Hoyne, brewing incredible, high quality craft beer is their love language. Plus, this local, family owned, and operated brewery is all about caring for their people and their community – great beer and social consciousness, is there a better pairing? 

  • Finnegan’s Irish Stout: With a deeply complex flavour profile and a rich fullness on the palette, this ode to James Joyce and the incredible craft of brewing traditional Irish stout is the perfect companion to warm hearth on a chilly day. This one deserves to be enjoyed by the fireplace at the artistic Prospect Lake Country Cottage.

Phillips Brewing Company

For almost 20 years Phillips has been brewing mouth-watering craft beer and there’s no sign of them slowing down! 

Crisp Ciders

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse

Using only heritage apples grown right on the property and traditional methods, Sea Cider has an array of sensational cider for every season and occasion. If you’re staying at Dalmeny Farm Estate, you can take the ten minute drive straight to the farm to pick up some incredible cider!

  • Prohibition: Using traditional, hand pressing techniques, champagne yeast and rum soaked barrels, this cider has the perfect notes of brown sugar and rum. Serve chilled or heated, this is a winner! 
  • Witch’s Broom: If you’re looking for bottled pumpkin pie, this is the cider for you. With notes of fall spices and the tartness of orange and heritage apples, this cider is the perfect balm to a stormy fall day. 

Merridale Estate Cidery

This farm, located in the microclimate of the Cowichan Valley, may be the perfect location to grow incredible cider apples. Using slow fermentation processes, these traditional, hand-crafted ciders blend Northwest Coast flavours and traditional English cider.

  • Scrumpy: Based on traditional English ciders, Scrumpy is made with high tannic apples and slow fermented in oak casks with light carbonation. With hints of caramel and a bright tannic finish, this is a perfect fall cider to enjoy bundled up on the patio of Heron View Cottage on a dry, sunny day.
  • Cyser: A cider inspired by medieval England belongs on this list! Fermented with aromatic apples and wildflower honey from the orchard, this award winning potable will impress, especially if you’re sipping it in the conservatory of Kye Bay Winter Beach House, watching the clouds over the ocean.

Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery

Mead may seem like a drink reserved for Renaissance fair goers, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! With a passion for bees, traditional fermentation processes and high quality ingredients, Tugwell Creek mead is the perfect drink to try in the fall especially if you’re staying at Pacific Coast Beach House and you can make the short trip to the meadery itself!  

  • Solstice Metheglin – Ginger Spiced Mead: Made with wildflower honey from the farm, a special spice blend and aged in French oak barrels, this mead is off dry and perfectly balanced. Serve it with one of your favourite fall dishes and taste how the flavours come to life! 

Warm Wines

Cherry Point Estate

Nestled in amongst the pastoral landscape of the Cowichan Valley, this long-standing vineyard produces incredible estate wines that will cure the seasonal blues and pair perfectly with your favourite fall dishes.  

  • Bête Noire: The blend of Agria and Zweigelt grapes produce this incredible full-bodied, Rioja-like red wine that has notes influenced by the unique terroir that can only be found on the Cherry Point estate. This is the perfect wine for your Sunday roasts or a rich charcuterie board while lounging on the luxurious sofa at Columbia Beach House
  • Siegerrebe: This bold, fruit-forward white is lovely on its own and can hold up when paired with rich food. Pop this open for your next Indian take out, pair it with rich, garlicky seafood dishes or fettuccine alfredo that you whip up in the Oceanside Lodge on Saanich Inlet kitchen.

Alderlea Vineyards

With a microclimate like that in the Mediterranean and balmy maritime winters, the Cowichan Valley is the perfect place to grow wine making grapes. Alderlea, located right in the Cowichan Valley, near to the little town of Duncan, makes award winning wines that rival Napa varietals. 

  • Valerie: A blend of Cowichan Valley Ortega and Viognier, this bright, elegant white with notes of pear and apricot, is a great accompaniment to the bright flavours of the autumnal harvest. Pairs perfectly with a butternut squash soup, flaky, savoury pie and the beauty of Marble Bay Lakefront House
  • Clarinet: For a bold, heavy red, you can’t go wrong with this incredible wine. Made from grapes grown on hand-tended vines, this dark wine with notes of pepper, coffee and sweet blackberries is an excellent choice to impress friends while entertaining at the stunning Hammond Bay Executive Stay

Blue Grouse Vineyards

On a south-facing slope in the Cowichan Valley, bordered by pine trees and nurtured by the fresh ocean air lays the 65 acre Blue Grouse Vineyard. The terroir at Blue Grouse is an unusually fortuitous mixture of gravelly soil and clay which produces exceptional grapes and incredible wine. 

  • Ortega: This 100% Ortega wine, the grape most commonly grown in the Cowichan Valley, is an incredible medium bodied white that has a savoury edge and a long, smooth finish. Pop this open for a dinner party at White Heron Oceanfront Estate when you’re serving pasta, seafood or rich, red meat. 
  • Black Muscat Reserve: This varietal is a rare find in the Cowichan Valley but it is the perfect bottle to open on a quiet night with a few friends in the Landmark Executive Sub-Penthouse. The spicy, medium bodied, fruity wine has a lovely purple hue, a crisp dry finish and is a great wine to pair with chocolate and cheese.