Having grown up watching Cowichan Valley’s homespun wine and food culture evolve, Tim Turyk’s ears perked up when he heard about a small vineyard and winery that was for sale in the fall of 2009. After over 40 years of working in BC’s fishing industry, he was looking for a new challenge. One look at the spectacular property and early 1900s farmhouse, and Tim knew he’d found something special.
No question, rain is in play on Canada’s west coast and a big reason why it’s so green and beautiful, but what makes Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley so special is best said by the First Nations Salish translation of ‘Cowichan’: warm land. There’s a Mediterranean-like microclimate here that makes grapes (and winemakers) very happy—especially the mild, year-round average temperature that’s warmer than anywhere else in Canada.
Committed to making wines that reflect the exceptional soil and growing conditions of the Cowichan Valley, winemaker Dan Wright and his team currently farm 12 acres of grape varieties at Unsworth Vineyards. The oldest block is Marechal Foch, which was planted in 2007—the grape behind their award-winning Ovation.
After harvesting the grapes once the flavours have reached their peak and the tannins are at their softest, that same artisan philosophy is applied to winemaking: taste and instinct reinforced by science and method. Using leading edge equipment, they tend diligently to every stage of the winemaking process.
With a small production by design, the focus at Unswort Vineyards is on handcrafted wines of distinction using signature techniques that showcase the very best of the fruit grown.