Here you will find purists. No pesticides or herbicides. No compromise in the vineyard or winery. Just a commitment to producing wines uniquely expressive of our site and of our personalities.
The original farmhouse, our family home, built around 1893, was extensively expanded and renovated to accommodate special winery events and our new tasting room featuring the work of Cowichan Valley artisans using local woods opened in the summer of 2011.
Tours & Tastings
Open for sales year-round by appointment. Open for drop-in tastings and sales from April to December from 10 am to 4 pm (later only by prior arrangement) Wed to Sun and Holiday Mondays (closed Dec 25, 26). There is a charge of $5 per person or shared glass covering 5 wines and our balsamic vinegar (waived for our VS Club members). Call ahead to be sure to 250-743-5630, as we may close for special events or vineyard emergencies. For larger groups, always call ahead to 250-743-5630 or use our contact form to make an appointment.
If all hands are in the vineyard, we will leave a walkie-talkie at the wine shop door for you to summon us. Phone ahead to check in case there is a vineyard emergency. If you would like to come by to purchase on other days, call in advance to arrange a time so we can come down from the vineyard to meet you.
We value our privacy and spend as much time as possible in the vineyard and winery. Tours and group tastings are very limited and by pre-arranged appointment only when our work schedule allows. Please contact us for pricing.
How else can you try our wines? Because of the small production and high demand, we chronically experience short supply, but a selection may be available at the fine restaurants and wine shops listed on our Local page.
Giordano was born and raised in Spilamberto, Modena in the region of Emilia in northern Italy, the centre of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar production, and emigrated to Canada in 1967.
He worked for CP Rail as a diesel electrical maintainer, then earned a degree in education from UBC. While teaching electronics and computers at Vancouver Technical School for 14 years, he also ran a small business designing application oriented hardware and software systems.
His interests include music and languages, the latter leading him to the University of Montreal in 1986, where he met Marilyn. Wine was always a passion for Giordano.
He had a quarter acre backyard vineyard for 15 years, experimenting with varieties suited to cool climates. In 1987, after teaching a summer session at BCIT, he and Marilyn spent three days in the Cowichan Valley, 45 minutes north of Victoria, to unwind.
They fell in love with the area for its beauty and potential for grapegrowing and within two months they had bought their farm, planned the vineyard and given notice to their bosses. Giordano is known for being a skilled, uncompromising and innovative winemaker.
Marilyn Venturi (née Schulze)
Marilyn was born in Goomeri, Queensland in rural Australia and raised in Sydney. She emigrated to Canada in 1970 and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology at UBC, then worked at UBC and the Provincial Health Laboratory.
Years later, she completed teacher training and her interest in French led her to the University of Montreal, where she met Giordano. His passion for life, food and wine was contagious and the dream became a shared one. She is also known for being uncompromising and determined in her quest for quality.
She has enjoyed the opportunities for research in her field related to the wine and vinegar production, the first being an extensive and successful National Research Council project. While the artist in Giordano and the scientist in Marilyn sometimes clash, both share the same winemaking philosophy: allow the quality of the grapes to be reflected in the purity of the wines.
Michelle Willcock Schulze
Michelle, Marilyn's daughter, has always had a passion for food and travel, a natural ability in writing and an affinity for foreign languages. She surprised the family by her decision to join the winery in early 1995, soon after graduating from high school.
After years of immersion in all aspects of the business (soil preparation, vine planting, pruning, canopy management, harvesting, crush and winemaking) and following an intensive program of reading and research into other wine regions of the world, Michelle is an integral and indispensable part of the winegrowing process. She has a great palate and brings a fresh viewpoint and wonderful sense of humour to the business. She shares the passion for wine and commitment to quality. Her son, Connor, born in January 2012, loves accompanying her to work and is our official junior apprentice.