Wine About It
Explore B.C.’S next big wine-country contender, one glass at a time.
The Nanaimo– Comox Valley area is as-yet unsung as a wine region, but it’s on the rise thanks to recent investments (and reinvestments) in estate wineries there in the past ve years. Here are three wineries within 90 minutes of the Nanaimo ferry dock that are worth the trip.
Millstone Estate Winery
This six-acre winery on the Millstone River is only 10 minutes from the Nanaimo harbour. Take your glasses out to the backyard picnic table for an al fresco happy hour with the chickens. If the weather is too hot or too wet,
the tasting room comes with
a nice selection of original jazz and blues vinyl playing in the background. Don’t miss the rosé (pairs well with Thelonius Monk), or the cabernet franc (better with Jimmy Rushing).
Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery
Started in 2006, Beaufort was bought by lmmaker James Cameron in 2014 because he loved the property (and, presumably, the wine). The cozy tasting room is in a renovated barn; a side picnic area overlooks the vineyards and the Beaufort Range. The wines are worth the hourplus drive from Nanaimo to the Comox Valley. Try the Big Nose Red or the Beaudacious white, a blend of estategrown German varietals.
40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery
40 Knots has a sprawling vineyard terrace where you can bring your own snacks— or they can provide you with a picnic basket lled with cheeses, smoked salmon and other morsels. Lauded B.C. winemaker Michael Bartier consults and provides them with Okanagan-grown merlot grapes for their tasty Stall Speed merlot. For island-grown grapes, try the Uncloaked chardonnay or pinot noir.— T.B.