The vineyard was established in 1988 with five acres on a gentle south slope planted to meticulously tended vinifera grape varieties, including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Auxerrois, Madeleine Sylvaner, Siegerrebe, Schönburger, Ortega and Kerner, all protected from predators (deer, bear, raccoons, rabbits and birds) by specialty fencing and overhead bird netting.
Ten more acres are left as a kaleidoscope of forest, creek, pond and wildflowers. A 15 acre parcel of neighbouring land was purchased in 1999 to expand the vineyards. There is clay, heavy in places, over deep limestone and sand, contributing a uniquely intense flavour profile to our wines.
All our vines are on their own roots. Our original 5 acres are virus-free and all the vines for the 15 acre expansion were propagated using the latest tissue culture technology to guarantee freedom from a myriad of diseases known to infect grape vines in North America. Vancouver Island remains one of the few phylloxera-free winegrowing regions in the world.
We have several viticulture research projects in progress and do not allow anyone to enter the vineyards without us, as precautions must be taken to isolate our site from possible sources of contamination. We ask all visitors to call well in advance so we can arrange to meet them at the house.
The new winery was built partially underground below the new vineyard expansion and completed in time for the 1999 crush.
Equipment additions included a new computer-controlled Della Toffola press that can be programmed to gently coax the juice from whole clusters, an "I don't know how we survived without it" variable-speed VinTech pump with remote control, several new stainless steel tanks and a stainless steel destemmer. New French oak barrels are added each year.
The winery has a large covered crushing platform and five interior work areas with humidity control, heating and refrigeration systems throughout and carbon dioxide extraction systems in fermentation areas.
The old winery was "gutted" and converted to vinegary to give us enough room to collect the vinegar under one roof, but we quickly outgrew this and an additional building was constructed in 2010.