40 Knots Vineyard Estate Winery Tasting notes
If you find yourself on Vancouver Island, BC, you will not want to miss taking the drive to Comox for a tasting at 40 Knots Vineyard & Estate Winery. This boutique vineyard has 24 acres that they are utilizing fully for varietals that are perfectly suited to our climate. Brenda Hetman-Craig and Layne Robert Craig are the owners with a clear vision doing an amazing job of showcasing what we offer on the Island.
They chose Matt Dumayne as their winemaker for his passion and expertise which is resulting in award winning wines. Any winemaker who does not believe in adding sugar to wines but instead producing true quality wines by choosing the right varietals and when to harvest is one to be watched.
I grew up on the island having had the luxury of being surrounded by beautiful coastlines and lush forests, I am a fan of any vineyard that chooses to make going “green” a priority. 40 Knots embraces being green and is doing it’s part to give back with initiatives like, $1.00 from every bottle of the lovely port style desert wine Safe Haven going to Project Watershed.
This vineyard is producing quality wines and has a variety of whites to choose from all with their own individual characteristics. The Pinot Gris 2015 is by far the nicest Pinot Gris I have sampled to date. It is perfectly balanced with the tartness of granny smith apples and lime making your mouth water followed by the smooth clean finish and lingering notes of honeysuckle. I look forward to having this wine with sushi as it can stand up to both the ginger and the wasabi.
The Chardonnay Uncloaked 2015 is the perfect white for slow sipping while enjoying a picnic with soft cheeses and sharp cheddars. It has a long finish and some soft minerality with fresh tropical notes. One of the few white varieties that will stand up to cellaring, drink this now or wait a few years and see how it impresses.
The Rosè 2015 is a dry old world style blending Gamay and Pinot Noir resulting in tangy acidity that wakes up your palate with black currant and raspberry leaving you wanting more. This Rosè would pair beautifully with wild salmon and savoury herbs.
I made the drive to 40 Knots Vineyard & Estate Winery to sample and take home the L’orange Schonberger 2015. They are one of only two BC vineyards producing this style of wine. This wine cannot be compared to any other style as it is Schonberger prepared with no additives and left on the skins for fermentation and aging, with a coppery hue and the tannin of a red wine. This wine has enough acidity to make your mouth water and interesting herbal notes of thyme with a spicy crisp citrus finish. This wine can be consumed chilled to give you more of the white wine aspects or at room temperature to experience more of its red wine aspects. We plan to pair this with scallops drizzled with a lime And ginger reduction with a side of roasted baby potatoes seasoned with rosemary.
This vineyard’s second label Stall Speed is for wines they produce with grapes bought from other interior vineyards that adhere to there standard and have the climate needed to ripen varietals such as Syrah. Stall Speed Stick Shaker Syrah 2014 is produced with grapes from Oliver, BC brought to the coast to be fermented in the salt air. This Syrah is rich and spicy with notes of pepper and dark red fruits, it lingers on the palate. It followed me home.
Not to be forgotten is the Safe Haven 2013, a port style desert wine using Marechal Foch. It has dark cherry notes leaning towards cassis, dark chocolate and some spice. This fortified wine is perfectly balanced and when tried with dark chocolate opens up with mocha flavours and a buttery finish. I look forward to trying it in the next release of the Spindrift Brut.
Keep your eyes on this vineyard. They will be releasing a Sauterne shortly and it will be one worthy of collecting. Hint, hint it is perfectly balanced with strong pear aromas and flavours with a smooth honey citrus finish.
I look forward to another visit.