I am impressed. Very impressed. Need I say more?
Although I’m on holidays, there are still a couple of things I need to finish off before I’m ‘officially’ on vacation. Although I rode my bike down to PA to park for the duration of the two weeks, I needed my car in order to do a safe transportation. Since I have a list of things I want to accomplish during my 2 weeks off – I decided to embark on one of these things -> that being a visit to an illusive winery called Coastal Black. I call it illusive because on every other opportunity that I’d planned to visit the winery, something would come up to put a kibosh on it.
I left PA around 11 am and traveled up The Slab (aka Hwy 19) to Hamm Rd before taking the right turn to dump me onto the old Island Hwy (Hwy 4). The great thing about this route is that as the drive travels along Hamm Road you discover a magnificent sight. Imagine riding along, enjoying the scenery and minding your own business, then as you round one of the bends and glance into the field running along the road you find yourself pausing. The reason? Those expected brown bodies of the bovine nature are replaced with the brown bodies of a bulky-front-end nature. Specifically – Island Bison. Growing up in Manitoba, the familiar outline of a bison was everywhere. Since moving to BC, I found I was missing seeing that figure gracing some of the more notable things in life = but please consider that BC is a coastal province, it is not something that is difficult to understand. But I still missed the brutes. That is why, when traveling Hamm Road I had to stop just to watch these big, brawny beasts. It was magnificent.
Traveling down to the “Old Hwy” or Highway 4, I turned right, then traveled a meagre 4 km to the turn on Endall Rd in Black Creek, to turn right and followed the road to the destination. For all you two wheelers out there, the road all the way up to the property is paved, but the driveway in is hardpack. Easy to negotiate for even the most faint of heart motorcyclists with an aversion to the G word.
One of the other aspects of the winery I liked was their operating hours. Open every day, it makes it easy for a working person to get there. My personal preference is to visit the wineries themselves and purchase wines. I know that most wineries sell their bottles in the local Liquor Stores – but something about going right to their door and purchasing feels right to me. As well, when I have the opportunity to visit the winery I can see their operation and hopefully get a feel for what kind of business they have.
I have to sum it up and say it again ~ I was impressed! A clean, organized and well maintained business unfolded before me. Coast Black is a family run winery that has capitalized on the local vegetation, rather than try to force the local ecosystem into growing something that is not indigenous. Their website states: “This Winery specializes in fruit wines and mead” – and as of now I am in love with the Spice Mead. Driving up the hardpacked driveway we were able to watch one of the mechanized picker machine (not sure of the actual technical term) working up the rows of blackberries before we parked and walked up to the winery retail area. The open air patio where lunch was being served was clean, spacious and very welcoming. The special of the day was a Bocconccini salad.
As we sat on the stools of the wine tasting area, we were treated to the weekly selection of up to 4 different wines and a mead for tasting. Quite quickly we were able to settle on a favourite and I was so very surprised on how much I enjoyed the taste of the Spiced Mead. In the past, I’ve never been a fan of mead, so I was very skeptical. Not anymore.
Aside from being a Winery, Coastal Black’s patio area hosted a daily luncheon special, patio bistro, a brick pizza oven and open “barn” style event space. I am in love with Coastal Black. I plan to be making another trip up there to purchase more of their yummy fare to use as Christmas gifts.