10 QUESTIONS with Beaufort Winery

Q1: How was your summer 2021?

Freya (F): “It was warm! We were busy making sure the grapes weren’t water stressed. We have also sold more wines than we ever before, partly thanks to the changes to the tasting room format: we have shifted from a walk-in to appointment based model since June 2020. Our staff have done a great job at giving a personal experience to people, giving time for people to ask questions and educating people how the growing affects the wine.”

Q2: Climate change is one of the most pressing issues today. How have the recent wild fires affected your business or your approach to winemaking and farming?

F: “In recent years, it is hard to predict what June will bring so it is nice to have a numbers of varietals of grapes here. Building up the soil health is also an important hedge against the uncertainty of weather events. The healthier the plant is the better able they are to respond and even out the resiliency. We haven’t had to deal with wildfire implications in the winemaking here on the Island so far, though so we’re grateful for that.”

Q3: On top of the climate change, there is a pandemic. How do you see your winery evolving through the pandemic time and in a post pandemic world?

F: “Because we are a small team we have been able to work through and carry on. A sit down model and more intentional conversation with people in the tasting room have really worked out. A lot of people were sticking closer to home but they were branching out into their nearby places that they may not have been before. It was nice to have more people from the community come out and spend time with us here.”

Q4: What is the biggest joy working in a winery?

F: “Smells! It really is good smells all the time in the winery!”

Q5: If you were not in the wine industry, what would you be?

F: “I’ve thought about a knitting store! Actually, knitting is the way I have balanced the seasonality side of the winemaking. Fermentation is like a thing in motion and you are constantly worrying about so many processes. With knitting, you can decide what to make, when to make it or when to stop it. It is very therapeutic and hands-on, and I love the feel of the wool through my hands.”

Q6: What is your current favorite wine and how would you like to enjoy it?

F: “I especially enjoy Petite Milo. This is our first ever estate vintage, a hybrid made for Vancouver Island. You have this really bright acidity and green grassy aromas.
So many whites here are delicate, aromatic and floral but this one is kind of robust and edgy like some New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. I would enjoy it on its own, sitting down with good friends.”

Q7: “Where is your go-to-spots when you are off work?”

F: “We always go for a pint at Church St. Taphouse in Comox, Gladstone Brewery or Land and Sea. We enjoy eating out at Atlas Cafe, too.”

Q8: How can people enjoy the Comox Valley in the fall?

F: “It is pretty beautiful in the fall in the Comox Valley. Oyster River has some great hiking trails just as rain starts and leaves start changing colours.”

Q9: How is this years harvest looking like?

F: “Big and clean! We’ve had only a little pressure from mildew. Without that pressure, we can let the grapes hang there and not worry about some rainy days before harvest, which is nice.”

Q10: In a few words, how would you best describe Beaufort Winery?

F: “A small and dedicated team working hard to craft great wines that really represent the region we are in.”