Our third day in Victoria we did a Wine and Whale Combo Tour. Jon had mentioned that we should do a whale watching trip on our vacation. So I hit up TripAdvisor and found the Victoria Wine and Whale Tour. It is a full day tour, which is great then you don’t have to figure out an itinerary for one day. You explore 3 wineries with lunch included. In the evening you take a boat to ride out to see the whales. The best part is the transportation is part of the tour and they pick-up and drop off back at the condo. So I booked and paid for the trip through Trip Advisor and with a couple of phone calls between the Whale Watching Company we were all set.
We got outride our hotel and waited for our ride to show up. I the tour description it stated we would be chauffeured. Now chauffeured can mean different things stretch limo, party bus, or big SUV. I did not expect a Black Cadillac Sedan with the driver in a Black Suit. The gentleman stepped out of the car inquiring if we were his party that he was picking up and introduced himself to us. I was patting myself on the back. We had never had the Lux treatment before. RJ was our driver, super nice, personable and knowledgeable about the area. He took us to 3 different locations.
De Vine Vineyards
The first place was De vine Vineyards. They make small batches of wines and spirits from the grapes and fruit trees on their property. We tasted some white wines and a vermouth that was aromatized with more that 30 different botanicals. I tried it mixed with a pineapple sparkling soda. It was delicious. We did try some of their “rums”. Since sugar cane does not grow on the peninsula, they do have wonderful locally sourced honey that they use to sweeten their “rums”, hence in Canada the term they use is”Honeyshines”. Those were very nice too. After tasting and enjoying the views, we purchased a bottle of the 2017 Fleur. I really wanted to buy the Vermouth and a pine infused Vodka, but no room in the suitcases. After spending some time on the grounds, we left for the next place.
Church and State Wines
The second place was Church and State Wines. Church and State Wines is what you would expect a winery to look like. Lots of wine on display and the bar and bistro is very rustic looking. We tasted a variety of red and white wines and had lunch at the Bistro. It was a beautiful day, so we had lunch outside overlooking the vineyards. The menu is locally sourced. Mom and I had the Salmon with Risotto, Jon had the Chicken dish. We all had to have the Blueberry Cheesecake for dessert. After enjoy our relaxing lunch, RJ took us to our next place.
Having a driver to take us around was not only a safe thing to do with indulging in the wines, but he did show us places that we may want to go back to see and restaurant recommendations as well. RJ was very knowledgeable about the region and the agriculture. He was also very personable in chatting with us about Denver and our wonderful sports market. Go Broncos!
Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse
The last place on our wine tour was Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse. No not a winery, but a ciderhouse. Jon really likes ciders, this place was his favorite. We tried 3 ciders, The Pippin, a traditional cider, the Bramble Bubbley, a blackberry infused cider, and the Rumrunner. The Rumrunner ages in rum soaked bourbon barrels. We had some crisps to snack on and we were ready to go. They also have holiday editions like Witches Broom and Wassail. We enjoyed our ciders and vowed to come back to here again someday.
It was time for RJ to take us back to our condo and change for our Whale watching tour.
We got back to our room and added an extra layer of clothes. It has been windy most of the week in Victoria and it can get cold really fast on the water. We walked down to fisherman’s wharf to Eagle Wing Tours and checked in for our whale watching tour and were outfitted in a special floatation jacket and other items to stay warm, dry and comfortable. Our captain for our tour had shared with us he had sailed for 40 years, sailed around the world, and has studied whales. He had also done some work with National Geographic. We were in good hands.
We headed out to the water, the further out we went the colder is became. Then finally we hit gold, we saw Orca. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
After that wonderful experience and a quick tour by the where the seals hang out, our Captain asked if it would be okay to head back little early. He felt he could not top the experience we just had and it was starting to get really cold and it was just getting colder. We were all okay with heading back before dark.
After leaving the boat, we grabbed a quick dinner of Fish and Chips at Barb’s Fish and Chips and walked back to the Condo.
We were so happy that we did this tour. Vacations need to be about experiences that you will never forget. What is the best travel experience that you have had? Please share with me.