Pender Island’s Sea Star Vineyards

Al fresco dining at Sea Star Vineyards, Pender Island, British Columbia

Al fresco dining at Sea Star

A beautiful setting, award-winning wines, talented artisans and good food – who could ask for more? We were entranced by a recent visit to Sea Star Vineyard on Pender Island when we were introduced to their weekly Wednesday Winery Market. The market runs all through the summer months until the Labour Day weekend.

Tasting room at Sea Star Vineyards, Pender Island, British Columbia

The tasting room

As vineyards go, Sea Star is not large – it encompasses 26 acres of hillside that terrace up to Mt. Menzies and cascade down to the beach. Planted in 2002, the vineyards include a wide variety of grapes, all of which are put to use producing Sea Star’s award-winning product. Although the vineyard is one of long standing the wines coming from it are only in to their fourth vintage under the Sea Star name. The fact that the winery’s offerings often sell out quickly says much for the quality of the product.

But, I digress. Sea Star’s weekly Wednesday market is a delightful combination of not just wine tasting, but an opportunity to enjoy the very relaxed ambiance of a true Gulf Island experience. The Wednesday Winery Market includes a limited number of vendors offering everything from fresh produce to artistic endeavours. There is live music – a very talented guitarist the day we were there – and a food truck.

Food truck at Sea Start Vineyards, Pender Island, British Columbia

The food truck serves us a tasty and varied selection of foods

We settled ourselves at a table under one of the pretty green Sea Star umbrellas and wandered over to inspect the lunch menu, which was varied and very reasonably priced. Three of us ended up sharing a generous portion of yummy Wagon Fries, a bowl of palate-pleasing sweet potato and orange soup, and some truly amazing cod tacos.

Truth be known, we could have done without the soup but the flavour combinations piqued our curiousity. No regrets there – a cup gave all three of us a substantial tasting and combined with our other choices provided plenty of fuel for the rest of the afternoon.

Cod tacos at Sea Star Vineyards, Pender Island, British Columbia

Cod tacos

The cod tacos came loaded and very attractively presented, with a mouth watering combination of vegetables and fish. My salivary glands get going just looking at the photos.

Vendor table at Se3a Star Vineyards, Pender Island, British Columbia

Vendor tables are situated around the perimeter of the dining area.

The beauty of this ‘market’ is that it is so unhurried. Neighbours take time to chat, the live music keeps us settled in our chairs just listening and savouring the moment, and a wander into the tasting room doesn’t go amiss either. It’s a perfect way to spend a sunny Summer afternoon.

Further information on Sea Star Vineyard can be found at the website at

Sea Star Vineyard is located at 6621 Harbour Hill Drive, North Pender Island

GPS co-ordinates are:

Lat. 48.778605 Long. -123.253565

N 48 46.716 W 123 15.214


About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.
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