Open 11-5 Daily. Reservations recommended.
Andy Johnston – Owner/Founder
Brent Rowland – Winemaker
Yonadav Anbar – Vineyard Manager
Courtney Ponte – Operations & Events Manager
Kali Philp – Sales & Marketing Manager
Averill Creek is a producer in the Cowichan Valley sub-appellation of Vancouver Island. They grow the vast majority of their own fruit, or source within 2 km of the property. The aim of the project is to produce honest wines that reflect the site and vintage. In both viticulture and winemaking, they take a hands-off approach in order to facilitate a clear segue from vineyard to glass.
The vineyard was established by owner Andy Johnston, who formerly worked as an MD in Edmonton. Eventually ready to pursue his greatest passion, he proceeded to stage at international producers including Villa Delia, McGuigan Wines, Château de Terride, Trinity Hill and Escarpment, determined to achieve the insight necessary to open a world-class Pinot Noir producing winery in Canada. Having grown up on a Welsh hill farm, Andy’s return to his agricultural roots proved a natural transition.
Lured by its climate and its great potential for Pinot Noir, Andy ultimately planted in the Cowichan Valley in 2001. The site consists of 30 acres on the side of Mount Prevost, on a moderate southeast facing slope, just 12km from the coastline. The property is surrounded by old-growth forest, situated on Royston-Qualicum soil: a blend of glacial stone, clay, and old-growth organics. In the vineyard, they take cues from both organic and biodynamic principles, while taking both a permacultural and regenerative farming approach, with particular emphasis on soil health.
Their approach is one of minimal intervention in the winery, however it is also one of pragmatism. Being in a cool climate, the goal is to demonstrate the inherent elegance, texture, perfume and refreshing quality of the wines. They often employ techniques such as foot-stomping, skin contact, whole-bunch fermentation, pigeage, and lees ageing to enhance these characteristics. Beginning in 2018, with the arrival of their Winemaker, Brent Rowland, the wines are wild fermented, no enzymes or nutrients are added, and little-to-no sulphur is added. Most are unfined and unfiltered.