Locals Only
Taste of the Island

One of the more enjoyable events held at Granville Island's Edible Canada is Locals Only. It brings the Island wineries, Cideries, Meaderies and distilleries from Vancouver Island to the heart of Vancouver. Rick Massey of Massey Wines is the host. Ken Jones (our non paid PR director) and I enjoyed our visit, meeting the wonderful people from the Islands.

When it comes to Meads one of BC's every best was there Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery was there. The Solstice Metheglin a King’s Style of Mead from the Middle Ages is one of my Favourites. The Mad Marion a sweet fortified berry mead is outstanding.

A new comer to the producers of Island wine is Kutatas Wines owned by Mira Tusz and Daniel Dragert. Although new they both have a great deal of experience in the wine industry. Currently they are a virtual winery. Daniel is a Viticulture and Enology graduate from Lincoln University in New Zealand.  He has gained experience working in the Okanagan Valley and he has also completed vintages in New Zealand, working with wineries focused on high quality, small batch, Pinot Noir production. He began winemaking at Averill Creek Vineyard in 2008; born and raised on Vancouver Island.

Mira joined Averill Creek as assistant winemaker in 2015.   She holds a bachelor degree in Microbiology from the University of Victoria and has completed a diploma program in Viticulture from Washington State University. 

Prior to visiting Kutatas I spent time tasting the wines of Averill Creek with owner Andy Johnston . He produces a very nice wine called Charme De Lile.  A delightful Prosecco-style sparkling wine produced in the classic Charmat Method.

Also new to the event this year Rathjen Cellars. Located on the Old West Saanich Road just outside of Victoria. Mike Rathjen is the winemaker. Mike's goal is to make accessible wines that honestly reflect where they are from and pair beautifully with our local foods.

Another new cidery is Salt Spring Wild from Salt Spring Island. Gerda Lattey is the owner along with partner Mike Lachelt. There is a bright future for their products.

Also from Salt Spring Island was Salt Spring Island Vineyard and Winery. I chatted with Devlin McIntyre one of the co-founders of Fraser Valley Wine Growers association before moving to Island in 2008. They produce a good sparkling Charme De Lile.

One of the Islands most popular wineries is 40 Knots I chatted with co-owner Brenda Hetman-Craig and tasted their fine wines. Voted best winery of the Comox Valley for three straight years. I really enjoy their Ziggy Siegerrebe.

Everyone knows the very popular Blue Grouse Vineyards located near Duncan BC. They had a enthusiastic and friendly table lead by winemaker Bailey Williamson. A very crowed table of people wanting to experience their wines. I chatted with Bailey tasted a few excellent wines then made way for others.

I had the most enjoyable conversation with Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse founder and cidermaster Kristen Needham.

Sea Cider is with out a doubt putting cider on the consumers mines with their quality products.

Located at 2487 Mt. St. Michael Rd.
Saanichton,  I recommend you visit.

Photo credit Cassandra Anderton


The event provided us with the opportunity to meet the new owners of Alderlea Vineyards. Zac and Julie Brown took over Alderlea Vineyards in April 2017. The winery is located near Duncan on the slopes above Quamichan Lake.

Zac and Julie have left behind 20-year careers in Health & Safety and Human Resources respectively, with global corporations to pursue a long-held dream of owning a vineyard and making wine professionally.

Look for some exciting wines from this couple.


Thank-you Rick Massey and Edible Canada


Home | About |Site map | BC Islands |New | Contact Us |Tourism |2018 Robert A Bell