About Venturi Schulze
The original farmhouse, our family home, built around 1893, was extensively expanded and renovated in 1993 to accommodate our then large family and small tasting room. Our cosy new tasting room in a renovated outbuilding featuring the work of Cowichan Valley artisans using local woods opened in the summer of 2011.
MARILYN VENTURI (NÉE SCHULZE)
Marilyn was born in Goomeri, Queensland in rural Australia and raised in Sydney. She completed her first year at Sydney University before emigrating to Canada and completed 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.
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.
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.