This week we were cruising around in the 2022 Acura TLX Tech A-Spec, a sporty looking vehicle that anyone would proudly be seen in. Smooth lines and no sharp corners in design; you get a different aesthetic at night with its sleek red lit piping.
As an Acura owner myself, I am already aware and fond of the way their vehicles are built. Enduring the test of time and the everyday wear and tear of a longer city commute, and the Acura 2022 Acura TLX Tech A-Spec is no exception.
The accessibility of the vehicle is great, there are multiple buttons that do the same thing in different places. Toggles and switches within reach for ease of multitasking on the road. Which is great seeing as we found it hard to navigate with the touch pad. It wasn’t touch sensitive and the swiping non-intuitive. You can’t just try it; you do have to take the time learn how it functions first. Minor details like the cursor on the screen doesn’t highlight or blink, so you can’t tell where it starts and where you are scrolling from.
Designed with weight in mind, the vehicle is built with speed at the forefront and Dynamic (sports) mode at your fingertips. The compact cabin with lower ceilings and plastic on the door are meant to shave weight. The result is the framework of the car being on the flimsier side, the doors feel thin, and every shift is felt, as if things are not secured in place. The sound from the speakers also do not bounce back as a result of the hollow door frame. The noise is absorbed, and the sound comes out muffled. Although the audio system itself is solid and you are surrounded by speakers for optimal sound coverage. At least the buttons and the wheel itself are study, so that the driver behind it feels more in control.
And as for creature comforts, the Acura TLX does not slouch. The left side footrest pad is closer to the driver, for a more comfortable spread. Both the driver and passenger’s front seat has arm rests and full lower back lumbar capabilities for customized support.
Overall, a great vehicle for some smooth and longer road driving. So, we took the Acura TLX on a tour of Richmond’s little-known winery district. Basically 4 wineries within closer proximity of one another.
NOTE: Do not drink and drive. Drink responsibly and plan for transportation ahead if you are planning on doing so. In this case I was not the driver and able to enjoy myself at the expense of my driver.
Canadian Flower Winery
16060 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6V 1A8, Canada
This is a newer winery, only a year old, Canadian Flower was borne from a turbulent time when we were avoiding doing anything in groups or anything indoors, and as a result their tasting room was left vacant for a long time.
Preexisting flower sculptures mark the sprawling property, although kept from that which it was before, they no longer match the dressed-up decor of the winery within. Glossy polished black and gold marble floors, a wall length shelf showcasing their eye-catching bottles printed with their floral motif, and a wooden and amber bar for wines tastings.
During our visit the owner/staff didn’t do much in explaining what was being poured into your glass, but each glass was etched with their branding and set into place within a special wooden holder. From here you can bring them into the winery’s entertaining room to enjoy at your leisure, like a wine flight.
In our glasses is their 2019 Pinot Grigio, 2002 Rose, 2017 Pinot Noir, 2018 Cabernet Merlot, and 2016 Cabernet Franc Ice Wine.
Lulu Island Winery
16880 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6V 1A8, Canada
Next, we stopped at the neighbouring Lulu Island Winery. Although they serve as Richmond’s longest standing winery, this is my first time visiting them. The property with its large brick facade is visible from the road. Within, the space is expansive allowing for two tasting rooms to run simultaneously, ideal for tour groups. With plenty of shelves in between to house their collection of wines and local products for sale.
Here, the staff were passionate about their bottles. The gentleman assuming responsibility for our tasting was not only informative, but helpful in guiding our choice of which wines to taste. We were treated to bonus pours with detailed description, personal notes, and conversational anecdotes.
Here we sampled, sipped, and spit their 2018 Merlot, 2018 Mertiage, 2017 Riesling, 2017 Muscat, and a Pinot Gris ice wine.
Country Vines Winery
13060 Steveston Hwy, Richmond, BC V6W 1A3, Canada
At Country Vines Winery you can’t do a tasting. Their wines are for sale by the bottle, and you have to commit to try. Although you can order a red, white, or mixed wine flight to enjoy out on their backyard patio. There is no speech or suggestions, just a point and pay system. Then you claim your desired resting place between covered sofas, sun-soaked recliners, or curious seats carved from wood stumps; and wait for your flight to be brought out to you. Worth mentioning is that they do not serve food, and from what I can tell it would be okay to bring your own, so long as you are drinking their wines.
Each flight is 5 preselected Country Vines Wine served in a wine glass, with additional sips served on a paddle of miniature carafts for self-pouring. Here, you can you take your time and enjoy your day of leisure the wine way.
In our mixed flight we had their 2018 Viognier, 2019 Back Forty, the Basic Rose, 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, and the Beso Dulce Red.
Sanduz Estate Wines Inc.
12791 Blundell Rd, Richmond, BC V6W 1B4, Canada
Our last stop and the last winery available in Richmond is Sanduz Estate Winery, specializing in fruit wines; with a heavier focus on blueberry wines, due to their adjacent farm. During our visit they were between owners and branding, so the photos of the bottles pictured here may not be accurately depicted. From their former berry featured, tourist driven and gifting forward labels, to their sleek new prowling cheetah motif.
The young clerk who attended to us was knowledgeable about the characteristics of her fruit wines and gave us tasting notes of what we might get and should get. Plus what types of food would they be best paired with. We would spend our time trying their more unusual fruit wines like gooseberry and dry blueberry. This is not the type of wine I would normally gravitate towards, but they would make a great host/hostess gift.
When looking to explore or try new wines, you need not travel to the Fraser Valley or drive too far out of town. Richmond has some great offerings one bridge over.