Sunday afternoon at the winery

I used to live in Langley, BC, and I miss it sorely. It’s just a few exits down the TransCanada from where I currently live, and yet going there is like entering a different world. Here are long green hills, endless miles of quiet country roads, farm houses, apple orchards, horse paddocks, fields dotted with cows and sheep.

And wineries.

My dad first discovered the Domaine de Chaberton winery a few years ago when his office hosted a lunch at the winery’s bistro. It was a fifteen-minute drive from where we lived, and it soon became our favourite place to go for special celebrations, to take out of town visitors, and to buy wine – especially at Christmastime.

It’s one of the things I miss most about Langley. So I was very happy when a group of girlfriends agreed to come out and visit the winery with me today. It was a perfect autumn day, sunny and warm enough so that we were able to sit on the patio overlooking the vineyard.

After a delicious and leisurely lunch, we toured the vineyard, the fermentation room, and the wine cellar. Harvest is just over, and there are crates upon crates of grapes waiting to be pressed. Then we sampled some wines and bought several bottles. I got my Christmas wine shopping done.

The wine cellar. The walls are made of cedar, which keeps out bugs. And the barrels are a combination of American and French oak.

It’s from the friendly and knowledgeable winery staff that I learned a few important things about drinking and storing wine. Like how to swirl the glass to release the wine’s bouquet and look for the “legs” that are an indication of a good vintage. And why corks are better than screw caps, especially if you are planning to age the wine for a few years. And how you should store wine bottles on their sides, in a cool, dark place.

There are several other wineries in the area, but Domaine de Chaberton is the one I will go back to again and again. Just like the rest of Langley, it feels like home.


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