For those of you who know me, you know I am a card-carrying fan of Blue Grouse Estate Winery, located in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Over the past 10 years, I have witnessed the winery’s evolution, and the quality of the wines develop.
I felt a kinship with the winery when I met winemaker Bailey Williamson, who has become one of my favourite people in the B.C. wine industry. He was the second person I interviewed for the Wine Soundtrack Canada podcast and has always made time for me when I visit Blue Grouse.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard, started by the Kiltz family, opened its doors in 1992 with vineyards planted mainly with hybrid and crossed grape varieties. In 2012, the Brunner family purchased Blue Grouse Estate and modernized the winery and built a beautiful tasting room that overlooks the valley. The Brunner family focused attention and capital on creating a winery and vineyard with sustainable practices. To learn more about these initiatives, click here.
The Brunner family and Williamson shared a love of sparkling wine. They launched their sparkling program with the 2015 release of ‘Paula,’ a blend of Muller-Thurgau, Ortega, and Pinot Gris. Paula was featured during my Best of B.C. Bubbles seminar at the 2021 Cornucopia Festival in Whistler, B.C. Recently, they have added a Rosé Frizzante under the Quill label. It is fun, flirty, and delicious.
Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Gamay have been the focus at Blue Grouse. Last year marked their first-ever release of a 100% Cowichan Valley Chardonnay – Quill 2021 Chardonnay. I was lucky enough to be one of the first to try this wine, and it was beautiful. I selected it to be a part of my Chardcore seminar last November for Cornucopia. This wine is a classic cool climate Chardonnay expression and was a hit during the seminar!
In December, the Brunner family announced they sold Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard to second and third-generation Jackson family members of Jackson Family Wines in Santa Rosa, California. The future of Blue Grouse will be one of continued success and premium wines. With a focus on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines – how could I not be thrilled?
Please click here if you would like to listen to the Wine Soundtrack Canada podcast with Williamson.
Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard is open for tastings with a reservation. Please click here for a link to their website.