If you’re like me and your idea of a dream day includes cruising in a sporty convertible along scenic country roads with endless stops along the way to enjoy fresh local fare and wine tastings, then you’ll definitely want to read on.
OpenRoad Auto Group and MINI Langley want to take you on a Circle Farm Tour! That means, you could win a MINI convertible for the day with complimentary lunch and destination tours for your own fun country adventure. *For more details, see the fine print below.
ENTER BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN
The Circle Farm Tours are a made up of five glorious self guided tours to beautiful agri-tourism destinations in Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and Agassiz and Harrison Mills. For this tour, we decided to concentrate on farms and wineries in Langley, since after all, they’re located in MINI Langley’s very own backyard.
The adventure started out at MINI Langley where I picked up a sporty 2015 MINI Cooper Convertible to drive for the day. The moment I set my eyes on this cool 3-door cruising machine, I knew I was about to embark on a special adventure. This little car just screams fun with its compact design and delightful styling (not to mention the funky orange colour). After the friendly staff gave me a quick overview on the vehicle – like how to take the top down, set the sport driving mode, and connect to Bluetooth for my favourite tunes – I was all set to go.
Like any self guided tour, having a plan and knowing the route is always a good idea. I had downloaded my Langley Circle Farm Tour map from the website in advance and had already decided that I would start the day at the award-winning, Chaberton Estate Winery, about 8 kilometres from MINI Langley – just enough distance to put the pedal to the metal (within the speed limits, of course) and destroy my hair for the day (hence the hat). With the MINI’s lightweight speed and agility on those country roads, I was at my first wine tasting in no time! (but good thing there was much more driving to come!)
Located on 55 acres of rolling hills in South Langley, Chaberton is king of Fraser Valley wineries. It’s actually one of the largest wineries in the province and the oldest in the Fraser Valley. Chaberton produces over 20 varietal wines from a full selection of 100% BC VQA red and white wines made from grapes grown on site and at select vineyards in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valley. Winery tours are offered at 2:00 & 4:00 pm daily, with tastings available throughout the day starting at 10:00 am. My recommendation is to taste a range of their wines because they’re all truly magnificent and you’ll need to find your favourite to bring a case home with you, right? My top pick was undoubtedly the 2011 Syrah Reserve. While you’re there, make sure to schedule in lunch at the Zagat rated Bacchus Bistro for the best authentic French cuisine this side of the Fraser River. (Lunch for two will be complimentary for our contest winner!)
Our next two stops were just down the road at Township 7 Vineyards and Winery and Vista D’oro Farms and Winery. Township 7 Vineyard and Winery has two locations – this one in Langley and the other one in the Naramata Bench. The Langley winery produces an outstanding method traditionelle sparkling wine and dry, Provence style Rosé wine, in addition to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The quaint winery offers daily self guided tours and wine tastings, in addition to numerous events throughout the year.
Just down the road, the beautiful Vista D’oro Farms & Winery grows heritage orchard fruits and vinifera grapes, all of which can be found in their lovely farm gate shop & tasting room. They specialize in fortified walnut wine, orchard pear and vanilla preserves, and many other seasonal varieties. The “vista” or scenery is absolutely splendid here too – with views of Campbell Valley Park and the Golden Ears Mountain Range. This is definitely a not-to-be-missed destination on your tour.
Taking a break from the grapes and turning our attention to some mouth-watering berries, the next destination took me to Driediger Farm Market. As much as I love tasting wine (and I mean LOVE), the super sweet berries at Driedigers had me swooning for more. This U-pick location for strawberries, raspberries and blueberries also offers fresh local peaches, cherries, corn, cheeses, meats, homemade pies and lots of local vegetables in the farm market. After picking a few berries, I realized I couldn’t pick fast enough to satisfy my appetite, so few I decided to buy an entire flat, plus a strawberry rhubarb pie to top it all off! Delicious!
With all this fruit and wine, it just seemed logical to finish the day off by blending the two with some amazing fruit wine from The Fort Wine Co. This rustic winery is iconic for his array of fruity table and dessert wines. As a marketer, I particularly loved the fun names and labels for their wines like “Bite Me Strawberries”, “Finger Fruit Raspberries” and “Ghost of the Bogs White Cranberry”. I particularly enjoyed the “Valley Girl Blueberry Wine” – partially because I’m a Valley girl myself but mostly because it was surprisingly delicious and not too sweet – perfect for pairing with cheese or dessert.
After 4 hours of touring Langley, covering about 50 kilometres – my mission was accomplished. My palate was happy, the memory on my iPhone was full, and my hair was an absolute mess, but at least I was going home with a trunk full of delectable treats that I could share later with my husband and my kids – yeah, right! And as for that MINI Cooper Convertible, I think I may have found my dream car!
Top Tips for the Perfect Circle Farm Tour
- Bring a co-pilot – You’ll want to share this experience with someone special and you could use the help navigating the route, plus a designated driver is mandatory if you’re planning to indulge.
- Plan ahead: Make sure to visit the Circle Farm Tour website and online map to make the most of your adventure.
- Make a playlist: Enhance your drive with your favourite tunes on your Bluetooth compatible device.
- Pack sunscreen and a hat: It’s hot in the Valley, plus the hat covers will cover any messy wind-blown locks.
- Take a detour: With so many sightseeing locations nearby, take a detour to visit Fort Langley, Campbell Valley Park or the Milner historic site. You’ll be happy you did!
- Bring your camera and take lots of selfies: Here’s your chance to show off your amazing day to your friends!