Readers Choice
- Page 31
Readers' Choice Award Winner: Blue Grouse Estate Winery

The hidden gem of the Cowichan Valley

 

In the heart of Vancouver Island is Blue Grouse Estate Winery — a gem hidden in the Cowichan Valley. Family-owned, sustainably-farmed and multi-award-winning, the winery and surrounding vineyards are a sought-after destination, not only for sampling the winery’s portfolio of top-quality wines, but also for events, picnics and family adventures.

 

The tasting room is open 11 months of the year. Check their website for events such as Soup Saturdays, pruning workshops, long table dinners and concerts.

 

Owned by the Brunner family since 2012, the team strives to demonstrate initiative, community involvement, sound business practices, creativity and consistent growth.

 

With some of the oldest vines on Vancouver Island, the winery team creates a unique experience that inspires people to visit the beautiful Cowichan Valley. The estate labeled wines are made from the transitional-organic vineyards surrounding the tasting room. A second label, Quill, is made from Island grapes occasionally blended with some Okanagan grapes.

 

Varietal wines include Ortega, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and there is also a traditional method sparkling wine, “Paula” named after owners Paul and Cristina Brunner’s daughter. The wines are bright, crisp, and well-balanced — showcasing where they are grown.

 

Visit and pass a pond with birds, tadpoles and beehives in the background as you approach the winery. This inspired winery facility was built with LEED certification standards using eco-friendly elements including locally-sourced construction materials, geothermal energy, onsite water collection and treatment, and other features that reduce energy consumption. Presently “Certified Naturally Grown”, with the winery converting the vineyards to organic certification.

 

A bright, airy, sustainably-constructed tasting room opens onto a sun-drenched patio — the perfect spot for charcuterie and a glass of rosé. The mezzanine and its romantic views make this an essential stop in your Cowichan Valley visit, while the surrounding vineyards offer the perfect setting for weddings and special events.

 

All of this, plus the heart-stealing winery dogs, Deano and Tia, are just a few aspects of the winery’s many lasting experiences. Make a stay of it with luxurious vineyard-surrounded accommodation in the Grouse House — open year-round.

 

Learn more about this biodiverse, progressive, eco-conscious winery at: bluegrouse.ca.