Our destination on a warm, sunny Thursday morning was Pender Island home to Sea Star Estate Farm and Vineyards. Over the years under the guidance of owner David Goudge and winemaker Ian Baker there have been some very impressive wines coming from the island.
Sea Star represents a gulf island winery surrounded by the ocean, and a "star"for the calibre of the wines Ian Baker came to Pender with a lengthy knowledge of running a winery, plus the experience of being a fine winemaker. His wife Wendy completes the team.
As our day began at 8:30 am in Langley (with a stop in Ladner to pick up good friends Ken and Jane).in order to catch the 10:20 am ferry in Tsawwassen. The ferry makes stops at two of the Gulf Islands on the way to Pender making our arrival to be after 1:00 pm. As we had packed a picnic lunch the first step was to enjoy the outdoor facilities offered by the winery taking in the glorious wooded area.
Looking towards Saturna Island from the winery patio
“The Cafe at Large” (red building) provides great lunches and tapas during the summer at the winery on selected days. Sea Star hosts the Wednesday Winery Market offering local fare including garden produce, fresh baking and preserves, fresh cut flowers plus creations from island artisans.
After lunch it was time to taste the wines; 80% of the grapes used to make the wines are organically grown on Pender Island.
Our tasting guide was the Winemaker's lovely wife (the lady whot does it all) Wendy Baker. Thank you, it was fun!
Being an Island winery white wine rules. Sea Star's Siegerrebe is especially good with nice aromatic notes and yummy flavours. The Stella Maris made from estate grown Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris Riesling, Ortega and Schonberger grapes is a wine of exceptional blending skills. Honey pear and other fruits combine to make it a very special wine.
Their dessert wine Poetry leaves you wanting more, is made from Marechal Foch blended with blackberries. 2015 vintages totaledl 3,800 cases which is the maximum production capacity. We purchased a bottle for our cellar.
BC Ferries waits for no one, unfortunatelyit was time to leave the Island. We came home with a few bottles and will be serving them soon.
We also came home with a gallery of photographs.
Pender Island is a jewel in the Southern Gulf Islands surrounded by the Salish Sea, home to Sea Star Vineyards. Our seaside vineyard cascades all the way down to the beach, while our upper vineyard terraces up to Mount Menzies part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. An exerpt from the Sea Star website.