Island Wineries Event on Granville Island

Marilyn Venturi from Venturi-Schulze Vineyards

Rick Massey Wine and Spirits (201-1726 West 11th Avenue, Vancouver) offered a golden opportunity to meet some of the owners and winemakers from Vancouver and Saltspring Islands and sample their wines. The event was held at Edible Canada located in the famous Granville Island Market.

We were very happy to see the island wineries cross the waters and visit our side of Georgia Straight. Those attending were Averill Creek,   Unsworth,  Alderlea,  Tod Creek Cider,   Sea Cider,   Merridale,  40 Knots, Venturi Schulze, Blue Grouse,  De Vine,  Rocky Creek, Saltspring, Mistaken Identity,  Zanatta, Cherry Point, Tugwell Creek Meadery and Gary Oaks.

Seldom does one have time to say hello to every winery, this event provided that opportunity. Some visits were short, others presented the opportunity for longer chats. I had a nice conversation to start the event with 40 Knots. then on to the delightful and charming owner Xavier Bonilla of Cherry Point Estate, both wineries have excellent cellars.

I had my first tasting of wines from Alderlea, Roger and Nancy Dosman operate Alderlea Vineyards near Duncan on the slopes above Quamichan Lake. Next I met the team from Vigneti Zanatta. The winery that introduced Ortega to the Island. Today Ortega is a true Island wine that often finds its way into our home.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Chris Schmidt from the new Victoria Cidery, Tod Creek. he is a very passionatr cider-maker. Speaking of cider I enjoyed tasting the offerings of Sea Cider Farm and Cider House. Their ciders are offered in very attractive glass bottles.

It was the first time I met Blue Grouse's winemaker Bailey Williamson. We talked about the Ortega grape and vine training, as well as enjoying their wines. The new facilities will be opening this summer, an exciting time for them. Another winery owner I had the peasure of meeting for the first time was Colleen Turyk of Unsworthy. We had nice chat. I had met her husband on a previous visit to the winery. Later in the day we met up with Tim, he seemed very pleased with how the event went..

A good winery to visit in Duncan is Averill Creek Vineyard which is the result of one man’s 30-year passion for wine, Andy Johnston. We received a big smile and a nice welcome when we came upon his table. Two labels to remember, Pinot Gris and Cowichan Tawny.

Another warm greeting came from Marilyn Venturi from Venturi-Schulze Vineyards . They make outstandng wines. Their balsamic vinegar is described by such luminaries as Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada, as the best in the world.

On to the "Queen of Meads", Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery's Dana LeComte. I love all their products. it's worth a visit to Sooke just to try Kickass Currant and Family Reserve Mead.

Winemaker and owner Elaine Kozak from Gary Oaks Vineyard (Saltspring Island) was there pouring wines and greeting tasters with a big smile. Her table was in the corner and I was never able to squeeze my way in but I did pass my glass forward for a taste of their enjoyable Zweigelt which will soon be added to our cellar.

There were some very delightful horderves to enjoy with the wines. A wonderful after noon! A tip of the hat to all the wineries once again they have raised the bar on the quality of wines from BC's islands.

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