Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery

winery news

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 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 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.

By in winery news Comments Off on We’re Hiring!

We’re Hiring!

***EDIT***

This position has been filled. Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply.

Tasting Room Associate (part-time for 2021)

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 April through September on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5pm. A part-time position is offered (18-24 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 (COVID, liquor service, WorkSafe etc.)

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

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

Please send a cover letter and resume to katie[at]beaufortwines.ca

 

By in winery news Comments Off on Pinot Noir Release & Holiday Hours

Pinot Noir Release & Holiday Hours

Contrary to what Angela Carter once proposed, anticipation isn’t always the greater part of pleasure. We can say that with conviction because… 2018 Pinot Noir is here and the wait is finally over!

Terroir—from the French terre, meaning land—is a valuable concept in appraising Pinot Noir on Vancouver Island. A narrow understanding of terroir will invariably include reference to the soil composition in a given wine region or vineyard. A more holistic comprehension encompasses a multitude of factors that affect a wine’s phenotype: everything from climate (sunlight, temperature and precipitation) to topography (elevation, slope and aspect), as well as hydrology, and even the scale and type of human intervention in the vineyard and winery are considered. Pinot Noir is a grape that, given the right circumstances, loves to tell the story of where it’s from. In cooler climates like ours, it’s a grape with a robust following and oodles of potential. We’ve been looking forward to sharing this one with you for a while.

We used 100% Vancouver Island grown fruit (sourced from Cherry Point vineyard in Cobble Hill) for our first ever single varietal red Pinot. In the glass, it’s more deep pink than red. The nose is all cherry cola, and cranberries, and those red toffee-dipped apples at Halloween. On the palate, Island acidity is a jovial counterpart to huckleberry, cranberry and clove. Some fine silky tannins add texture & just a little weight on the finish, balancing an otherwise bright mouthfeel. Aged in premium French oak barrels for 16 months. This is a Pinot to pair; try it with wild mushrooms or cedar plank salmon. This is a TASTING ROOM EXCLUSIVE; 2018 Pinot Noir is available online and in-store only.

12% alc./vol.
3.3g/l RS (dry)
93 cases produced
$29.90 in the tasting room

We also wanted to let you know that the winery store will be open on the following dates in December (10am to 3pm all dates): 4th-6th, 11th-13th & 18th-20th. While the STORE will be open on the above dates for wine and gift card sales and pick-ups, we WILL NOT be hosting tastings on-site this holiday season. Our tasting room is just too cosy (and the deck too chilly) to safely and comfortably host guests at this time of year. However, we still have a few virtual tasting appointments available — click HERE for details.

By in tasting room events, things to do in courtenay, winery news, wine education Comments Off on Private Virtual Tastings in December 2020

Private Virtual Tastings in December 2020

We are very excited to offer virtual wine tastings in December 2020. Enjoy a private guided tasting in the comfort of your own home over Zoom or Google Meet. Virtual tastings are possible in all provinces that allow direct to consumer wine shipments from BC. We can also host a tasting for multiple households simultaneously; if you are unable to get together with your friends and family in real life this holiday season, we can help… all for the love of Vancouver Island wine!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Head to our online store to preorder your wine selection for delivery (6 bottles minimum). If you have friends and family in other houses/provinces who want in on the action, let them know what bottles to order and we’ll ship tout suite. Live locally? You can also pick up from our store on our open days in December.
  2. Once you’ve purchased your bottles, contact Katie (katie@beaufortwines.ca) to secure your preferred date and time for your virtual tasting. Katie will then send you a Zoom or Google Meet invite.
  3. On the day of your tasting, the choice of what to open is yours! A winery representative will host your tasting, guiding you through 1-5 wines (again, the choice of how many bottles to open is entirely up to you). Assemble your family (or your friend bubble) in the comfort of your own home with bottles, glassware, and your favourite wine snacks. At the elected time, we’ll call in and guide you merrily through your chosen tasting bottles.

While our wine store WILL be open on three weekends in December, we will NOT be hosting tastings on-site. Virtual tastings will last a maximum of 1 hour (depending on the number of wines tasted). Please ensure you have downloaded (and tested!) the appropriate meeting app. A good internet connection, that is capable of supporting video, is essential. Virtual tastings are FREE – all wine orders placed between October 15th & December 20th (6 bottle minimum shipment) can opt to add-on a virtual tasting. Virtual tasting appointments are limited. T&Cs apply.

By in tasting room events, things to do in courtenay, winery news Comments Off on NEW VINTAGE RELEASE

NEW VINTAGE RELEASE

Our new vintage wines! It’s a pretty good looking line up don’t you think?

We’re having to do things a little differently this year. But we are still going to make it fun! Pre-order your selection for pick up during our DRIVE-THRU VINTAGE RELEASE. You can access a pre-order form here.

Our brand new vintage (and brand new labels!) will be released on Saturday May 16th 2020. Pre-order and prepay for your selection, then swing by the winery between noon and 5pm on May 16th for pick up. No need to leave your vehicle! Delivery is also possible. See order form for details.

We know that you love having a wee taste on vintage release day, but that isn’t possible right now. Tasting rooms, as with bars and restaurants in BC, remain closed due to COVID-19. We truly cannot wait to see you at the bar again soon—we will let you know as soon as we are able to pour.

By in things to do in courtenay, offers, vineyard news, winery news Comments Off on Adjusting course

Adjusting course

It’s May 4th. In any other year, our tasting room would be open by now. We’d be relishing the long and leisurely visits our guests similarly enjoy in spring and early summer. There’s always so much to catch up on, and so much to discuss as the vines burst into life.

This year is a lot different however, and we’ve had to adjust the course of our usual tasting room season. As with all restaurants and bars in BC, tasting rooms are unable to operate. It’s a tough time for many.

We really hope to see you soon, even if it’s from afar. Our ‘Drive-Thru’ vintage release is happening on Saturday May 16th. If you would like to pre-order a case for pick up, you can find out how in our most recent newsletter. Free/discounted shipping continues across BC and select Canadian provinces too.

Otherwise, our wine store will be open from Friday May 22nd. We will be open Fri-Sun from noon until 5pm for wine purchases only. Call ahead and we can prepare your order so you don’t have to leave your car, or simply pop in to select your own bottles. To ensure 2m physical distancing, we will be limiting the number of people in the store at one time.

We cannot offer tastings during this time and our picnic area will remain closed. Thank you for your understanding and we will look forward to hosting you all shoulder to shoulder at the bar when it is safe to do so.

By in winery news Comments Off on A note from the team at beaufort…

A note from the team at beaufort…

We are heeding the advice of the government and our health care professionals. As things stand, the tasting room will not open for the 2020 season on April 3rd as we’d planned. Similarly, we are suspending all private tastings. We will keep you up-to-date on this, as well as our new vintage release, across our platforms. A hopeful reminder that our vines continue to grow, and that we continue to tend them.

In the meantime, let us help you keep a healthy home cellar! We are offering FREE DELIVERY on case orders on Vancouver Island, between Campbell River and Victoria. Otherwise, we are offering a 50% DISCOUNT on shipping (1 case minimum) to the rest of BC and select Canadian provinces.

See here for more details on shipping and delivery options. You are also welcome to pay over the phone for pick up – we will shuttle bottles to your vehicle at a time that suits you. As always, mixed cases are possible for all our Wine Club members.

Thank you very much for supporting Vancouver Island producers now, and always.

Mark, Freya, Katie, Cohen, Jacinda, Dav & Linda