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The Cowichan Valley: Where to Eat

The Cowichan Valley: Where to Eat


Posted on Apr 14, 2021

Cowichan Valley BC restaurant winery

The Pagoda outside Unsworth Restaurant.

The Cowichan Valley is a regional district in the southern part of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. We headed over from the mainland to the Island last year to explore its wine offerings after it was recently bestowed the Province’s designation as a sub-Geographical Indication (sub-GI). Of course, no AdVINEture would be complete without trying the local fare and despite our limited time and somewhat limited choices, we did find some worthy stops to recommend.

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glass & vines

Our kind of research.

Today’s world of social media and on-line news means that information travels at literally the speed of light. It also reaches a greater number of people than ever before, and we think this is a very good thing. The problem today is one of trying to sort the truths from the fictions, the information from the disinformation and the real news from the fake news. Recently wine has been a topic appearing in the news with conflicting views as to what if any effect it has on our immune system and hence our chances of getting COVID-19. AdVINEtures decided to do the research and let you know what is really going on…

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Less than a year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were visiting the Napa Valley. We drove up Spring Mountain to meet with Stuart Smith of Smith-Madrone Vineyards. Stu is a favourite interview for us, as he always brings a very informed and very authentic perspective to what is happening on the ground. A ground he’s been familiar with for 5 decades. We thought he would be the perfect person to re-visit with for our latest video AdVINEture.

Napa Valley wine spring mountain

Stuart Smith

Harvest 2020 brought fire not just to their doorstep but on their property which you’ll see from the extraordinary footage included. We picked his brain on the challenges facing winemaking in Napa and what keeps him going 50 years later. You won’t want to miss the wine he names as what got him into winemaking (spoiler alert: it’s definitely not what you think!). Click on the link above to learn more about the wine world according to Stu.

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The #WorldWineTravel group is continuing its virtual exploration of Spain. This month the focus is on Castilla y León including Ribera del Duero, Rueda, and Toro. AdVINEtures is co-hosting this month’s conversation with Lynn from Savor the Harvest on Twitter this Saturday March 27th. We’d love to have you join the conversation; the invitation with all the details can be found here.

Our article is a primer on Ribera del Duero, a region we were lucky enough to visit a few years ago. To read the other articles related to this month’s topic by others in the group, please refer to the links at the end .

Spanish wine

Tempranillo grapes at Abadia Retuerte.

Ribera del Duero is, along with nearby Rioja and Priorat, one of the most important wine producing regions in Spain. In 2012 the highly respected Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded Ribera del Duero its ‘Wine Region of the Year’ citing as reasons Ribera’s “combination of top-quality wines, beautiful vistas and a proactive approach to tourism and customer satisfaction”. While grapes have been grown and wines have been produced here for hundreds of years, it is only relatively recently that this wine region has gained the respect of the wine establishment and recognition of that fact that its top wines have earned a standing alongside the world’s great wines.

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This month the #Winophiles are taking a look at French varieties made into wines around the world. While we could think of many examples from various regions we have visited, we want to shine a spotlight on our own backyard where the Okanagan Valley is making some truly world-class Chardonnay. (To read the other articles related to this month’s topic, please refer to the links at the end).

Okanagan Valley BC

The beautiful vineyards at BC’s Blasted Church Winery.

Chardonnay has an association with Burgundy that is an unbreakable bond. That is simply because so many of the world’s most profound Chardonnay wines come from that region. The great wines of Puligny Montrachet, Chassagne Montrachet, Meursault and Chablis, among other Burgundy sub-regions, make the reference-point wines from the Chardonnay grape. But Chardonnay is a chameleon-like grape that has been successfully planted all over the world and shown its ability to adapt to new terroirs with the potential to make great wine outside of Burgundy as well as within. One of those regions that is rapidly gaining notice is the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada.

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Mendoza: A Primer

Mendoza: A Primer


Posted on Mar 10, 2021

Mendoza argentina wine

The historic Malbec vineyard at Cheval des Andes.

Mendoza is Argentina’s premier wine growing region. It is a high elevation plateau that has 350,000 acres planted to grape vines at the base of the Andes Mountains. The vineyards are planted at elevations of 2,600 to 5,000 feet, making them some of the highest vineyards on the planet. While many varieties (both red and white) are planted in Mendoza, Malbec is the star and the wine that has built this region’s reputation.

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