10 QUESTIONS with SouthEnd Farm Winery

Q1: How was your summer 2021?

Ben(B): “It was busy and it was the best summer weather in our living memory! Especially for growing.”

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?

B: “We were lucky that no smoke really affected us this year. As for winemaking, we will have to plan for the future what more varieties of grapes that grow in warmer climate…
Oh! The climate change DID affect us very directly this year – a grizzly bear! Historically they have not been on Quadra Island, but they have been forced out of their natural habitat. One bear happened to end up here this year and ate one of our goats. It made headline news!”

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?

Jill(J): “A friend of ours who was managing our tasting room for 5 years, couldn’t come back from Mexico in summer 2020 because of the pandemic. So Ben and I found ourselves back to the tasting room again which we hadn’t been for quite a while. We didn’t reopen the winery until July 2020. We haven’t seen an uptick in online sales like the way some wineries have seen because we really don’t offer any online sales as a choice. We are a small winery and we are just trying to future proofing ourselves for the size that we are.” 

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

B: “Drinking wine!”

J: “Making the wine and seeing people enjoy it. It makes us feel good.”
(Ben follows to agree.)

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

B:  “A chemical engineer. That’s what I still am.”

J: “Probably a farmer. I like farming.”

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

B: “That is like asking someone who is your favorite child. But, if I were to walk in the cellar now and grab a bottle of wine, I would probably grab the Piquette. It is our experimental light bubbly wine.”

J: “I like our sparkling – Jimmy K.”

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

B: “California! We try to go California every winter. That’s how far we have to go to not have to worry about the farm. Our favorite is Pismo Beach.”

J: “On Quadra, Rebecca Spit is a great place to go to. Lots of hiking and kayaking around the island. Also, we often take out food from Coveside Seafood Eatery for their  fish and chips.”

Q8: How can people enjoy Quadra Island in the fall?

J: “Fall is always nice and cozy time here and you can enjoy your stay with us at the Shack at SouthEnd Winery, or anywhere on Quadra.  Fires, walks in the woods, or the seaside.  It’s a great time to visit.  Our Shack is a charming little house, with a private entrance, fully equipped kitchen and wait for this – a separate toilet room with a Japanese high-tech toilet! You can find us and book it through airbnb.”

Q9: How is this years harvest looking like?

J: “You never know but it is looking really good. I have a feeling that this year is going to make a nice vintage. At harvest, we typically don’t hire anyone because we’re so small. All our neighbors, friends and our families come out and help us harvest.”

Present Update from J:  “It has been a great vintage.  A bit early but we were able to harvest everything before the rains started in late September.  This is the first year in about 3 that we’ve been able to make a great Siegerrebe (because of less disease damage), so far it’s tasting great, we’ll have to see how it ages in the tank.”

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

J: “Small farm, too many ideas! This is our tag line!”

Ben wasn’t present for this question but minutes later, we asked him the same question. His answer was exactly the same, word for word.
Shows true partnership!