A Little More Averill
If you ask someone in the wine industry when the ideal time is to visit a winery, there’s a good chance they will say, “at Harvest.” There are several reasons for this: intimacy in the tasting room, vibrant autumnal colours in the vineyard, and you may also catch a glimpse of unique viticultural or winemaking activities.
In the Cowichan Valley, Harvest usually takes place from September through October, depending on vintage conditions. In 2020, we experienced a warm spring, a cooler June, followed by a fairly consistent, warm end of summer. Here in the Valley, we have a remarkable climate that allows the grapes to retain acidity almost regardless of when we harvest. Hence, we measure phenolics—the texture of the tannins in the seeds and skins—as our primary indicator for ripeness.
At Averill Creek we have 30-acres of planted vines, with as many as 20-30 people harvesting at peak. We begin by picking sparkling wine varietals, followed by grapes destined for leaner styles of wine, concluding with fruit for more powerful, ripe styles. The fruit is brought into the winery, foot-stomped in bins, then allocated to vessels to begin fermentation. Ultimately, at Averill Creek, our approach is to intervene the least amount possible in both the vineyard and the winery, so that we may reveal the region’s true character in the glass.
- Kali Philp
Sales & Marketing Manager
Averill Creek Vinyard