I highly recommend Michael and his wonderful tour of the Fraser Valley wine region! My partner and I chose to book this tour after doing extensive research on several different Vancouver area winery tour options. We chose this tour for two main reasons: 1) Unlike some of the other wine tasting tours we researched, there was no minimum number of guests required for the tour to operate. Our tour had just one other group of 3 people, and the small group experience was absolutely preferable to my partner and I--we are not the large party bus types. 2) This was the only tour we found that included a meadery. We love mead, and wanted this more unusual experience which can’t be found just anywhere.
Michael himself was a wonderful tour guide. He picked us up right in front of our hotel, and peppered our bus ride with multiple interesting facts about the Vancouver area and Fraser Valley wine region. It quickly became clear that Michael has personal relationships with the owners of each of the wineries that we visited, which resulted in learning a lot about the fascinating history of each winery (and meadery). Michael also engaged in conversation with each of us throughout the tour, and getting to know Michael personally gave the tour a personal touch that stands out from other similar tours I have experienced. Michael even gave us a recommendation for an absolutely incredible Malaysian restaurant (Banana Leaf), which we would not have discovered otherwise. We ended up having one of the most memorable meals there out of our entire 7 day trip!
Note that the cost of this tour does not include tasting fees, something we were aware of beforehand. However, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the meadery did not charge us any tasting fees because of the great relationship they have with Michael. Impressive!
The only negative aspect of the tour was that it did not include lunch, like we’d hoped. Apparently this was because the restaurant that used to be part of the tour closed down due to COVID--something that can’t be helped, obviously. To make up for this, Michael did pack us a nice bag of snacks in place of lunch, which we greatly appreciated.
In total, we visited 3 wineries (Backyard, Township 7, Blackwood Lane) plus the meadery (Festina Lente) over the course of 5-6 hours. Each of these had very different tasting menus, which gave us a wonderfully wide variety of wines and meads to try. We live very close to Napa, Sonoma, and several other fabulous California wine regions, and the selection of wineries we visited in the Fraser Valley completely held their own against California wines. If and when we ever return to Vancouver, we will certainly consider booking another tour with Lawrence Tours.