by Deborah Rogers –
Doesn’t the beginning of March feel like a lifetime ago? Back then the weather was still pretty chilly, but now we are fully into summer and ready to enjoy our Peninsula playground. I was dreaming up a Deb’s Day Out that would make readers feel inspired to get out and explore in a new way.
At 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, a beautiful shiny vehicle pulled noiselessly onto my driveway. I’d been looking out the window to get a first glimpse. Then, like a scene from the movies, the rear doors lifted up (I almost expected smoke to trickle out) and friendly faces were revealed within. I was heading off for a Tesla Tour of Peninsula wineries, organized by my friend (and Seaside‘s wine expert) Tania. The destinations may have been somewhat familiar – though to be honest I’d only visited one of the four before – but the mode of transport was all new for me.
Kevin Belanger, Tesla Tours’ owner and founder, was our driver for the day, and the itinerary had been mapped out between him and Tania ahead of time. All I had to do was enjoy the ride … oh, and the wine!
What better way to start the day than with bubbles? We cruised to Invinity Sparkling Wine House in Deep Cove. This was particularly special as this micro winery doesn’t have a tasting room and doesn’t usually host guests. Lucky me; we got to see where the small batches of sparkling are made and stored, then sit down with the owners to sip and learn. If I went into detail about all the wines I tried on this Day Out I’d quickly be on the wrong side of my word count, but I can tell you I tried four different sparkling wines at Invinity and it made for a very jolly start to the day! Fun fact: North Saanich has a very similar climate to Champagne, France. The delicious bubbles were enhanced by the passion of the winemakers. I felt the same at our next destination, Deep Cove Winery.
Once we had stashed our purchases in the well-placed wine crate under the Tesla’s hood, it was just a short drive away. This established winery, with vines dating back 20 years, is under new ownership and has seen a complete renovation. It was a pleasure to meet the maker Tasem, and sample several different wines in the stylish tasting room. Note: their cabernet franc was my favourite sip of the day.
Lunch was scheduled at Church & State Wines in Brentwood, and the longer distance between stops allowed us to really enjoy the car. The Model X is a SUV-style seven-seater. It’s extremely luxurious inside, coupled with excellent environmental credentials. With a 420km range, this vehicle could easily take you up to explore the Cowichan Valley or along the circle route to Port Renfrew, and there are no fuel costs as Kevin has all-solar charging stations for his fleet of Teslas. I loved the panoramic windshield that stretched up to the glass roof, allowing views that you’d normally only get in a convertible.
Travelling in style made me feel special, and elevated the experience of the day into an occasion. This was added to by our treatment at Church & State where we shared a delicious lunch of local delicacies, and enjoyed time to chat and savour from the tasting menu.
The last stop of the day was DeVine Winery & Distillery. There’s a beautiful view to be enjoyed at this hidden away spot, and despite already being quite merry, we managed a flight of samples including the Black Bear spiced honey rum – yum!
What a great way to tour our region’s wineries (or breweries) safely, letting Tesla Tour be the designated driver. And what fun for a special occasion, celebration or as a way to show visitors all that we have on offer on our doorstep. Tasting rooms are opening back up, in accordance with Provincial regulations, so now might be the perfect time to invite your “bubble” for a tour! Kevin’s also been partnering with many Victoria and Peninsula businesses to deliver their products. Deep Cove Winery, DeVine, Invinity and Church & State Wines are all currently offering online sales and deliveries.
What do you want to see Deb do next? Send your ideas or invitations
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by Janis Jean Photography.