Blue Grouse Estate Winery
The Blue Grouse Estate Winery’s philosophy is “stewardship”. Our aim is to make everything we touch better than it was when we found it. We apply this to training our team on the environment that hosts our vineyard and home, the vines we grow, the wines we make, the infrastructure that supports the winery and vineyard, and the economics of our business model – everything.
Putting the “cool” in Cool Climate, the Cowichan Valley, with warm dry summers and mild wet winters is Canada’s only maritime influenced Mediterranean grape growing region. The Valley records sufficient GDD (growing degree days) during the Spring and Summer to provide good conditions for many vitis vinifera grape varieties, particularly those that bud late and ripen early. The Valley is in the rain shadow of the Insular Mountain Range that forms the backbone of Vancouver Island. The vineyards are surrounded by forests, have a Southern exposure, are influenced by a glacial fluvial deposit running it’s length, and are nurtured by clean air and clean well water. This exceptional site is farmed organically, with a minimum of fertilization and irrigation.
The Blue Grouse Estate Winery vineyard sites feature three distinct soil types: Fairbridge (silt loam to silty clay loam with elements of marine deposits); Hillbank (found on the north-east perimeter of the property with little impact on grape growing, is similar to Fairbridge, but with better drainage characteristics); and Qualicum (very gravelly sand, very gravelly loamy sand and very gravelly sandy loam all with excellent drainage).
All vineyards at Blue Grouse Estate Winery have been mapped using EC (electrical conductivity) methods. Soil anomalies were further detailed with a series of pits to confirm soil types, irrigation layout and then planted to grape type, clone and root stock according to the results of this analysis. Most of this work was conducted under the tutelage of “Mr. Terroir” the noted vineyard soil specialist Dr. Pedro Parra and more recently with support from Vintality Ltd. of BC. The Blue Grouse team is now focused on the grape varieties most suited to its soil types.
For more information on touring the Cowichan Valley wineries, please visit Toursim Cowichan