Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery

News

By in tasting room events, things to do in courtenay Comments Off on Picnic FAQs

Picnic FAQs

We get lots of questions about how picnics work at Beaufort so we thought it handy to put all the info in one place. Here we go!

So you have a picnic area, yes?

Yes! Our guests are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy after (or even before) their tasting. We can sell wine by the bottle and provide (real) glasses, water, and an ice bucket (if required). An endorsement to our liquor licence is what allows us to have a picnic area. The picnic area capacity is 60 persons. 

Can I reserve a picnic table?

We do not take reservations for the picnic area. Picnic spots are offered on a first come/first served basis and priority is given to guests who have booked tastings. We do not host private parties and functions. If you want to increase your chances of securing a picnic table after your tasting, we suggest booking the noon or 12.30pm tasting spot.   

Do you have picnic goodies we can purchase onsite?

No. We do not have a restaurant or food service facility at Beaufort, so please bring your own goodies, serviettes, cutting boards, cutlery etc. and pack out all your trash/leftovers. Put it this way; we can provide everything you need in terms of wine and water, but food is up to you. If you want to make life real easy, you can always order take out (or a bespoke picnic) from one of the valley’s many top notch restaurants/caterers like Jam & Co. 

This sounds great! Can I hang out all day in your picnic area?

I mean, you could BUT, we can only sell one bottle of wine per every two adults (19+) in your picnicking group. Them’s the rules in BC. 

What do we sit on?

We have lots of heavy duty cedar furniture, to include 6 picnic tables. However, feel free to bring a picnic blanket and/or your own camping chair as we may not always have enough furniture during busier times. Please note that our picnic area is entirely outside–there is no covered area in the event of rain or hot, hot sun. We do have patio umbrellas but they can only do so much in extremes.

Can I bring some games?

Sure! Though no frisbees or other flying objects that could interrupt someone else’s picnic. We have a bocce set if you’d like to borrow that.

Can I smoke in the picnic area?

Nope. The entire Beaufort property is smoke/vape free.

Can I bring my pet?

Well-behaved pets on leash, yes! Please don’t leave them in the car. You MUST pick up after your pet. 

Are kids welcome in the picnic area?

Definitely! Please do not leave children unattended though. Beaufort is a working farm and winery and we prioritize the safety of all our guests.

Is the picnic area wheelchair accessible?

Yes.

What time does the picnic area close?

On regular tasting days, the store and picnic area both close at 5pm. If you would like to have a picnic after your tasting we suggest booking an earlier tasting appointment. Alternatively, if you have booked a later tasting, you are welcome to use the picnic area before your tasting appointment. 

What about table service? Why do I have to carry everything out myself?

We do not have a lounge licence at Beaufort; therefore there is no table service in our picnic area (the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch do not want us to facilitate you to that degree in your alcohol consumption). As such, if you need anything, you’ll have to pop back in to us. Same goes for carrying your wine and glasses to your picnic table (you’ve got to do that!). 

Can we invite some friends over to join us for a picnic?

The 6 person per group limit that applies to tastings, does not apply in the picnic area so feel free to invite others to join you for a picnic after your tasting… within reason! If you show up with a mariachi band, a bell tent, a paddling pool, a selection of decorative palms, a pastor, and 30 in-laws (even if they’re the good kind), we’ll have to ask you to take it to the beach. Remember that we do not host private parties or functions at Beaufort. Note that we will pop out to check IDs for guests who join your party in the picnic area. 

My aunt doesn’t drink wine, can she bring her own gin?

HARD NO!

Our licence is on the line if guests bring in alcoholic beverages (of any kind) from the outside.

I don’t have a tasting booked, can I just show up for a picnic?

In theory, yes. But remember that picnic spots are offered on a first come/first served basis and priority is given to guests who have booked tastings. Walk-ins can’t always be accommodated. 

*The above pic was supplied by Jodi at Jam & Co. Luxury Picnics in Comox. If you want to make life easy and have someone else prep your picnic, contact Jodi directly for a bespoke cheese/charcuterie box. You won’t be disappointed!

By in things to do in courtenay, winery news Comments Off on 2022 tasting season at Beaufort

2022 tasting season at Beaufort

We’re delighted to confirm our opening date for the 2022 tasting season: Friday April 22nd. You can use our online booking portal NOW to secure your tasting appointment. 

We will be open for tastings Friday to Sunday in April and May; Thursday to Sunday in June, July and August; and back to Friday to Sunday in September (last day Sept 4th). Appointments can be booked between noon and 4.30pm on all tasting days. 

There are a couple of things to note about how tastings work at Beaufort:

  • We strongly suggest booking an appointment in advance as we cannot always accept walk-ins (especially during high summer).
  • We do not host groups larger than 6 (to include non drinkers like designated drivers and minors). This is a house policy, and is not connected to a Provincial Health Order. We’ve established that our small tasting room team is able to offer the best possible wine tasting experience to smaller groups. If you are part of a larger group, you are welcome to book two (or more) tastings back to back, but the appointments will be offset by 15-30 minutes. We do not need to know the number of people per tasting group, just know that it cannot be more than 6.
  • Please arrive on time as late arrivals cannot be accommodated. Tastings last 30-45 minutes and you are welcome to use the picnic area after your tasting. If you have a later tasting booked, you are welcome to use the picnic area before your tasting (our store and picnic area both close at 5pm).  
  • As in 2020 and 2021, all tastings in 2022 will be hosted outside. There is cover in the event of rain, but we recommend you wrap up warm especially during the earlier part of the season. Tastings areas are shaded in summer. 
  • Please note that the picnic area is entirely outside, though umbrellas provide some protection from light rain/hot sun. Feel free to bring your own picnic blanket or camping chair for the picnic area–we have lots of room but may run out of garden furniture during busier times. We can sell wine by the bottle and provide glasses (and an ice bucket if necessary). We do not serve or sell food/picnic items at Beaufort, so please bring your own goodies and pack out your trash. There is NO table service in the picnic area. 
  • Tastings are $10 per person but that fee is waived if the individual tasting purchases a bottle of wine. There is no tasting fee for wine club members.
  • You can cancel/change your booking online (via the link in your confirmation email), up to 48 hours before your appointment start time. After that window closes, please call us at the winery to cancel your booking.
  • We do not take bookings over the phone/via email or DM. You must use our website to book your tasting appointment. 
  • Need more info on tastings/picnics at Beaufort? Please see our FAQ page.
Book your 2022 tasting appointment HERE.
By in winery news Comments Off on WE’RE HIRING A P/T TASTING ROOM ASSOCIATE FOR 2022

WE’RE HIRING A P/T TASTING ROOM ASSOCIATE FOR 2022

Beaufort is a family-run winery and Organic vineyard 10kms north of Courtenay. We’re up to some great things in the winery, and certainly in the vines, having received the first Organic vineyard certification on Vancouver Island in 2019. We make exciting, clean wines that speak to our region and to our efforts. Our team in the vineyard, winery and tasting room is small, talented, and passionate about our cool, coastal climate. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Description:

We are seeking a part-time Tasting Room Associate for our busy guest season. Our tasting room and wine store is open from the end of April through September on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5pm. A part-time position is offered (12-24 hours per week) and weekend availability is essential. 

Responsibilities:

  • Greet guests and facilitate wine tastings; inform guests of Beaufort’s farming practices, winemaking methods and wine styles. A successful candidate will facilitate excellent guest experiences with efficient, prompt and friendly service
  • Promote Wine Club and other winery products
  • General cleaning tasks and product restocking
  • Operate POS
  • Possible light vineyard and cellar work during quieter periods
  • Ensure all safety protocols and house policies are followed

An ideal candidate will:

  • Love working as part of a small, dedicated team
  • Have excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Be able to lift 40lbs
  • Have an attention to detail and presentation (while being on their feet for extended periods in a fast-paced hospitality environment)
  • Have a genuine interest in regenerative farming, wine and hospitality (plus a desire to learn even more)
  • Have successfully completed a Serving it Right certification

Compensation:

$18/h, plus tips and lots of wine perks

To apply:

Please email your resume and cover letter to greatwines@beaufortwines.ca

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on Tastings in 2022

Tastings in 2022

As per our usual rhythm at Beaufort, the store and tasting room is now closed for the winter season. You can always order our wines online, or find a selection at these great restaurants and liquor stores. Wine club members are welcome to call in an order for pick up during the off season too.

We will reopen in the spring–please keep an eye on our website (or better still, follow us on Instagram) for more info and an official opening date.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back!

By in winery news, wine education Comments Off on Disgorging Traditional Method Wines

Disgorging Traditional Method Wines

Stellaris has been coming and going in the store as we disgorge each batch. But what does it mean to disgorge a traditional method wine? And why the wait?

Most often, we get a wine into the bottle and that’s it. Job done. Not so with sparkling wines like Stellaris or Zephra. Both of our sparklers are made using the traditional method. This winemaking method is synonymous with French Champagne, but it’s also used to make sparkling wines in other parts of the world like Italy (Franciacorta) and Spain (Cava). BC producers are also employing the technique and Vancouver Island’s cool climate makes for some of the best examples in the province.

 

In traditional method sparkling wines, autolytic yeast particles (or lees) coalesce into a kind of beneficial sludge after the wine has undergone its secondary fermentation. The lees remain in the bottle for a period of many months to many years, lending key flavours and aromas to the wine as it ages.

While lees are harmless to consume, they result in a cloudy wine if they are not removed; so the bottles are riddled (placed at an angle in a special frame and turned incrementally over a period of weeks to encourage the lees down into the neck of the bottle). When all the yeast particles have gathered in the crown cap that temporarily seals traditional method wines during the aging period, the bottles are disgorged. Disgorging removes lees in a very fun, but very messy and labour-intensive process: the neck of each upturned bottle is rapidly chilled, creating a frozen plug of wine and lees in the bottle’s neck. Next, the crown cap is quickly removed, and the bottle turned upright. The pressure that builds up behind the frozen plug–remember each bottle contains about 90psi–is enough to force it straight out of the bottle.

The bottle, now upright, is topped up with a ‘dosage’–a small amount of wine, typically sweetened to balance the wine’s acidity. The bottle is then sealed with a cork, wrapped with a metal cage, and given a few turns to help integrate the dosage. The bottle is then washed, labelled, and boxed, ready for sale within a month or two.

While riddling and disgorging can be automated in large Champagne houses, we do it by hand–20 cases at a time. It’s a methodical process that resists expedition. And while we are sorry that Stellaris takes a little longer than most wines, we assure you that good things come to those who wait.

STELLARIS IS BACK IN THE STORE (ONLINE, AND AT THE WINERY) from mid-December. $42.50+tax.

By in Uncategorized Comments Off on Christmas 2021 Store Hours

Christmas 2021 Store Hours

Our WINERY STORE will be open on two weekends in December for wine and gift card purchases. We will be open from 11am to 4pm on the following dates:

Friday 10th, Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th December
Friday 17th, Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th December

We look forward to having you stop by to pick up your winemaker’s case, or just a few bottles for the festive season! Please remember your mask.

Please note that we will NOT be hosting tastings this holiday season.

By in offers, pairing suggestion Comments Off on 2021 Winemaker’s Case

2021 Winemaker’s Case

Our winemaker’s case is an annual traditional that guarantees savings and delight in equal measure.

We hope you’ll enjoy sharing, and maybe even cellaring, this year’s selection. Winemaker’s cases are not available in our online store and, as always, are first come, first served. This year, we have just 60 cases available so don’t delay! To RESERVE your case, please fill out THIS SHORT FORM. We’ll be in touch within a day or two to process payment. Payment guarantees your case.

The winemaker’s case is offered at the very special price of $251.36+tax, for a saving of 20% on tasting room prices*. Shipping IS available to select Canadian provinces; pick up is possible on store open days in December; and FREE delivery is offered in the Comox Valley/Campbell River. Here’s what you’ll get:


1 x 2019 Pinot Noir (pre-release): Berry bright in the glass with cherries, huckleberry and something a little woody and resinous too. This is a Vancouver Island Pinot; fresh and light with great structural acidity. Aged in 2nd year French oak. Dry. We suggest cellaring this one for 2-5 years. We won’t be releasing this vintage until next year, which means you’ve got your hands on an exclusive pre-release.

1 x 2019 Ça Beautage (new release): 100% estate grown Marechal Foch and Leon Millot give Ça Beautage its deep ruby red colour. Expect a rambunctious fruity profile with blackberry, blackcurrant, and cherry. The palate is smooth, with light tannins and a med-long finish. 2019 was a warm one for us in the Comox Valley and we harvested a bumper crop on Oct 1st. Aged in American oak. Dry. Drink now or cellar 1-2 years. Ça Beautage is a light bodied Island wine –– try it with pizza, or stuffed portabello mushrooms.

1 x 2019 Epic (new release): Wily fans will notice that we usually hold onto Epic a little longer in bottle, releasing it 2 years after the vintage, rather than the standard 1 year for whites. This gives the acids a little more time to settle because Epicure (the grape variety from which Epic gets its name) is a sassy hybrid. It’s also one of Freya’s favourites. 2019’s vintage is lemony bright with some honey and pear to boot. On the palate, expect Epicure’s acidity to lead (the blend contains 20% Ortega). Dry. Drink now, or let sit a year or two if you prefer the more mellow characteristics of the 2018 vintage (also included in the case). Try Epic with Indonesian gado-gado.

1 x 2018 Pinot Noir: Light in body and in appearance. Cherry cola, spice and cranberry. Aged in new French oak for toast and texture both. Dry. Drink now or cellar for 2-4 years. Drink at cellar temp or, as we discovered in the summer, slightly chilled makes for a refreshing take on things. As for pairings, lighter dishes get our vote; a garlicky tomato pasta with parmesan and toasted breadcrumbs, for example.

2 x Cab Libre: Savoury as she goes. Light roast coffee, tobacco and blackcurrant leaf. Bell pepper too, perhaps. Dry, with a medium body and finish. Structural tannins and acidity contribute to Cab Libre’s distinctive personality. Cab Libre is a unique Island variety (it was hybridized on Vancouver Island by Swiss grape breeder Valentin Blattner). As for aging, this one is dealer’s choice: why not drink one now and save one for later (2-4 years cellaring)? Pair this robust and savoury wine with lasagne, or a winter stew and creamy mash.

2 x 2018 Epic: An opportunity to see where Epic goes as it ages. The slightly oxidative notes in the 2018 vintage are a fun departure from the freshness associated with the younger vintage. 2018 gives honey, beeswax, propolis, and orange marmalade. It’s dry, and still bright of course, but mellow by comparison, with more complex aromatics. Drink now. We always advocate opening two bottles at once, and we especially recommend doing that when you have two vintages of the same wine; vertical tastings are a great way to understand the changes that occur in bottle as a wine ages.

1 x 2020 Borealis: Our Siegerrebe and Schonburger blend is a perennial favourite, and for good reason. Its aromatic profile is a pleasing swell of honeysuckle, lychee candies and elderflowers. It’s off-dry too, which softens the acidity that otherwise typifies Island whites. Drink now. The typicity and balance of Borealis is best enjoyed when the blend is young and fresh. Siegerrebe’s genetic connection to Gewurtztraminer, aided by the blend’s residual sugar, makes it an ideal wine to pair with spicy dishes. We’re partial to a Goan curry with BC spot prawns.

1 x 2020 Ortega: A Spanish name. A German grape. An Island wine. Jasmine, apple blossom, something citrusy. If we said yuzu, would you call us pretentious? Either way, this is a wine with a zesty mouthfeel. Dry, and fermented only in stainless steel. Drink now to best enjoy the bright aromatics and structural acidity synonymous with Ortega on Vancouver Island. Ortega pairs with such west coast delights as seared scallops, halibut, or a steaming pile of Manila clams with french fries.

2 x 2018 Petite Milo: Apples, nettles, hops. This Blattner hybrid has been a favourite of ours for some time. There’s something so pleasing about cool climates wines with perfectly integrated aromatics, alcohol, and acidity. Petite Milo is dry (it was crash chilled at zero brix), but it’s still got oodles of intrigue. We suggest sharing Petite Milo with someone who indefatigably claims to dislike dry wines. We think they’ll change their mind. Drink now before the acids wane. A fantastic friend to Vietnamese spring rolls and a salty dipping sauce.


* Sorry; no trade outs, and no other discounts apply on bottles in the winemaker’s case.

 

By in winery news Comments Off on On shipping and the challenges faced by small BC wineries

On shipping and the challenges faced by small BC wineries

 

Our online store is open 24/7 and can be accessed HERE. We are able to ship to the following Canadian provinces: AB, SK, MB, PE and NS. We cannot ship to ON, QC, NL, NB, NT, YT or NU.

We love sharing our wines. But sharing them outside of BC presents some major challenges, especially for small BC wineries like Beaufort. Not all provinces and territories allow for the free movement of privately purchased alcohol across their borders.

For example, BC wineries and wine principals who ship DtC (direct to consumer) in Ontario risk colossal fines and jail time both. On the flip side, BC residents can easily order wine from their favourite winery in Niagara. If this seems unfair, that’s because it is. Canadian wineries (and wine lovers) have effectively become pawns in the tit-for-tat arguments that have stymied interprovincial trade for decades.

Although the federal government paved the way for uninhibited interprovincial DtC shipping in Canada in 2019, some provinces have been dragging their heels. As with New Brunswick’s R v. Comeau, prohibition era liquor laws in Canada seem to require a pariah for provinces to engage with modern trade and consumer practices. Most BC wineries have decided that it’s not worth the risk.

It’s maddening for us, and incomprehensible to most consumers, that we cannot ship a case of wine to a BC wine lover in Ontario or Quebec, and yet, that same consumer can jump on Amazon and effectively order anything, from anywhere, and have it delivered to their door.  The official line in Ontario, for example, is that wine sold to an Ontario resident IN Ontario MUST be processed/sold through the LCBO, which means that it cannot come directly from a winery or liquor purveyor in another province.

Oh, and if you live in ON, QC, NL, NB, NT, YT or NU and ARE receiving wine shipments from other BC wineries, you might be scratching your head at all of this. Some (especially larger) BC wineries sell directly to the provincial liquor boards. This likely means there’s more leeway given to those wineries when they DtC ship to a province where they already have a market share. Alternatively, your favourite BC winery might just be getting lucky each time they ship your case across a provincial or territorial border…

As for US and international shipping, all wine shipped to the USA must come from an appropriately licensed winery. While some (again larger) BC wineries have agreements with US authorities (including the FDA), Beaufort does not. For now, we are unable to ship to the USA. International shipping brings with it the dual impediments of labelling requirements and customs duties. So sending wine to Ghana, Germany, Greece or Guatemala will almost always be a no-no for small to medium BC wineries.

We keep a close eye on developments regarding DtC alcohol shipping in Canada. Most BC wineries do. There are some efforts underway to overhaul these antiquated and unfair laws, but progress is slow, and the legislative work required is mind-boggling. We will be sure to provide an update as soon as there’s news to share.

By in pairing suggestion, recipes, whole food Comments Off on Torta Salata di Frangipane e Pomodoro

Torta Salata di Frangipane e Pomodoro

A savoury frangipane tart, and an absolute winner for using up end-of-season tomatoes. Make a double batch of frangipane as it freezes very well. Like a quiche, this tart can be enjoyed warm, or fridge cold, making it a great choice for a picnic lunch. As the tart cooks, the tomato juices are absorbed by the frangipane, which expands and creates a light and flavourful mid layer; the pastry remains flaky and the tomato flavour becomes gloriously concentrated. With thanks to Danika Sea and Edible Vancouver Island for the beautiful photo. 

 

INGREDIENTS

150g butter, at room temperature

2 eggs, beaten*

70g (+/-) panko (or crushed Salteens)

80g ground almonds

2 cloves garlic, finely grated

1 tsp fresh picked thyme leaves

100g ricotta, drained

30g parmesan, finely grated 

Maldon sea salt and black pepper

2 sheets of shop-bought puff pastry (or, by all means make your own!)

2lbs tomatoes, sliced

6-8 anchovies (optional)

*Plus a little extra beaten egg

 

METHOD

Heat oven to 400F.

Using an electric handheld beater or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the butter until light and aerated. Gradually add the beaten egg. You can add some panko to bring the mix back together if it splits.

Next add any remaining panko, almonds and garlic. Mix well with a wooden spoon to combine. Using a spatula, fold in the thyme leaves, ricotta and parmesan. Season with black pepper. The raw frangipane should hold its shape–if it’s too wet, add some more panko. Cover with a towel and set aside until you are ready to use. 

Place each pastry sheet on some parchment paper, and roll the pastry sheets until they are about 2mm thick. Slice a 2x1cm border from all the way round each sheet. Using a little beaten egg to secure, stack these border pieces on top of one another at the edge of the main sheet to build up the edges.

Spread the almond mixture evenly over the pastry sheets, leaving a little gap close to the built up edges. Arrange the tomato slices, perfectly or messily, on top of the frangipane. However, you should allow a little overlap as the tomato slices will shrink in the oven. Drape a few anchovies here and there, if using. Finally add a good sprinkle of Maldon, and brush with egg any exposed pastry. Grab the edge of the parchment and pull each tart on to a large baking sheet. 

Bake the tarts at 400F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350F and bake for another 10 minutes. When cooked, the base will be a golden brown, the frangipane puffed up, and the tomatoes will have shrunk. You know your oven best–the tarts may take a little longer, or a little less time depending. 

Remove from the oven, and leave to cool slightly before slicing. Alternatively, allow to cool completely and refrigerate for a cold snack. Serve with a green salad and balsamic vinaigrette. A light dry red, or rosé is a perfect with this savoury tart.

By in vineyard news, winery news Comments Off on A new chapter begins

A new chapter begins

 

Left to right: Cohen, Katie, Freya, Alex, Mark & Dav
This summer, our team on the ground bid a fond farewell to the Camerons as Beaufort’s owners and land stewards. Supported by Jim and Suzy in our various roles, it has been our great pleasure to oversee the evolution of the farm and winery since 2014. From the work of transitioning to certified Organic status, to increasing the vineyard acreage and diversifying the crops grown at Beaufort, the Cameron family’s vision for a vibrant farm with living soil has always underpinned our efforts.
A new chapter in Beaufort’s history sees us welcome Sylvie Senay, Rolland Tanguay, and Alexandre Guertin as Beaufort’s owners. They are deeply familiar with the importance of organic and regenerative farming in Canada and are proven leaders in creating and maintaining strong community relationships. We are certain that Beaufort–the land and its people–will continue to flourish with Sylvie, Rolland and Alex at the helm. Our team could not have hoped for a better transition.
Vancouver Island’s identity as a world-class wine region gains credence with each and every vintage. It’s an honour to work within a community of committed growers and makers; and a great privilege to contribute to the identity formation of our youthful region.
Beaufort is a tremendously special place to us, and to the many supporters we’ve had the privilege of raising a glass with over the years. So while there are some changes on the horizon, we’re pleased to say that most everything will remain the same. Our commitment to creating excellent wines in our cool, coastal climate will continue, and our work to leave this land in better shape than we found it will always be prioritized.
As we look forward to cosy reunions with friends and family, we extend an open invite to you all. We’re always eager to share what we are up to in the vines and on the farm. Book a tasting, bring a picnic, and let’s catch up over a glass. There’s so much to celebrate!
Mark, Freya, and the Beaufort team.

Sylvie, Rolland & Alex

In 1995, Sylvie Senay and Rolland Tanguay founded Avril, an independent natural food supermarket in Granby, Quebec. Today, there are 10 Avril locations across the province, employing more than 1000 people. The name Avril stands for renewal, freshness, and abundance. 25 years after the first Avril supermarket opened its doors, Sylvie and Rolland continue to bring high quality organic products to their customers, including a selection of wines curated by Rolland under Avril’s private label.

The family is no stranger to the Comox Valley; Sylvie’s son Alexandre attended high school at Vanier in the early 00’s, and has been a regular visitor to the Valley ever since. Alex will be relocating full-time to the winery house from Vancouver, where he currently lives. While Alex has been working in the realm of technology and investment, he is eager to learn alongside the Beaufort team in the vines, winery, and tasting room.

In addition to their commitment to organic farming and quality produce, Sylvie, Rolland and Alex are passionate about great wine––the family’s values and vision make for a perfect fit with all that Beaufort stands for. They see tremendous potential for Beaufort and the Vancouver Island wine region to shine and reach new heights. Here’s to a new and exciting chapter in the winery’s history.