Order the Wine on Tap at Vancouver's Urban Winery
You may not be able to order a kegger of wine from this Railtown working winery, although restaurants can, but what you can order is a tasting of some really good B.C. wine thatís on tap.
The Vancouver Urban Winery is, first and foremost, a commercial winery that manufactures, packages, imports and distributes wine for multiple brands (including their own Roaring Twenties label, which you can buy by the bottle from their on-site store). In addition, and this is where it gets interesting, the Winery takes in kegs of wine from B.C. wineries and packages it for distribution to restaurants and bars in big steel tanks andóta dah!óthis is how you get wine-on-tap.
But why should you, the visitor with a jam-packed schedule, take time out of your busy day to visit the winery? Well, first off, itís a cool place to hang out. The owners and sommeliers are all around the 30-years-old mark and you can feel the unbridled enthusiasm yet laid-back vibe of the place. There are comfy chairs to chill in or you can set yourself up at the bar if youíd like some interaction with the hopping bartenders. When we were there, it was open mike night with some pretty good singers doing their thing.
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Secondly, wine on tap is really good. Once the kegs of wine arrive from the different B.C. wineries, the Vancouver Urban Winery's winemakers keg it within 24 hours, which is quite the feat. When they say that this is a good way to preserve the freshness of the wine, they arenít lying, plus there are up to 36 varietals on tap at any given time for you to try. As a licensed winery they canít serve full glasses, but you can buy as many tastings or wine flights as you like and, even better, try the Sommelierís Choice Food & Wine pairing for $24 CAD. You get five wines paired with local charcuterie and cheese.
Vancouverís Railtown area is what one might call ďup-and-coming,Ē but, saying that, itís only about two blocks from Gastown and has a growing community of designers living and working in the area. The Wineryís only been open for public tastings since December 2012, and it seems to have a local following as well as a contingent of people stopping in to see what all the hub-bub is about. We think itís worth a stop.
Make sure you check their hours before you go; the tasting room is open when the Winery is open. Right now, that's Sunday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call them for tasting hours on Saturdays at 1-604-566-9463.
[Photos: Janice Tober]