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.

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

Just Posted

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Most Read