Winemakers have a grape time

The Nanaimo Winemakers aren’t content just to pour a glass and sip – they enjoy the whole process, from vine to wine.

Doug Morrison of the Nanaimo Winemakers club pours grapes into the crusher on Friday morning outside the Cavallotti Lodge.

The Nanaimo Winemakers aren’t content just to pour a glass and sip – they enjoy the whole process, from vine to wine.

The club gathered outside the Cavallotti Lodge on Friday morning as a huge shipment of grapes arrived from the Okanagan. Club members unloaded 900 kilograms (2,000 pounds) of gewürztraminer grapes, 900kg of pinot gris, 450kg of cabernet franc and 450kg of cabernet sauvignon. They formed a sort of bucket brigade, sharing and weighing the grapes, pouring them through a crusher, bladder pressing some of the buckets and carrying pails of juice.

“There’s a bit of chemistry, a bit of science, a bit of art in making a good wine,” said Dave Burt, club president.

Nanaimo Winemakers seem to get the mix just right. The club’s Don Graham was grand champion at the Amateur Winemakers of Canada competition in Waterloo, Ont., this year, winning gold in other dry red, chardonnay and sparkling divisions, and Don Holmes won gold for his dry red pinot.

“Invariably our wines, in a blind tasting, come out on top of a $25 French bottle,” Burt said. “The return is quite good if you’ve got the mind and the patience and the perseverance.”

The group shows that winemaking doesn’t need to be an individual pursuit. Different club members source barrels, corks and other equipment, and a grape team searches for bulk deals in the Okanagan, Washington State and California.

The club is always looking for new members to join in the winemaking, educational meetings and other social activities like tastings.

“We’re trying to take care of them and make sure that they have success on their first batch of wine,” said Burt.

For more information about the Nanaimo Winemakers, please e-mail DavesMail2004@telus.net.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIU Mariners add provincial championship to undefeated season

Vancouver Island University women’s team defeats Camosun in PacWest final

Nanaimo Clippers win Island Division, will face Alberni in playoffs

Clippers blow out Bulldogs 6-1 on last day of BCHL regular season

Petition underway to stop bylaw on homeless camping in Regional District of Nanaimo

‘Canadians are known for their meekness but this time we need to have a voice’

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Reconciliation requires that all parties have a voice

Pipeline protests by the hereditary chiefs and their supporters have legitimacy, says letter writer

Oak Bay wins Vancouver Island basketball championship in Nanaimo

Third-place NDSS will get to challenge second place Claremont for a berth in provincials

Oak Bay wins Vancouver Island basketball championship in Nanaimo

Third-place NDSS will get to challenge second place Claremont for a berth in provincials

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

First win, fifth win highlight BC Senior Curling finals

Donna Mychaluk wins first title after finishing second five times; Wes Craig takes fifth crown

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read