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Unsworth Vineyards

Unsworth Vineyards
October 6, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Nine British Columbia wines that you need in your collection

The Globe and Mail - Christopher Waters - September 22, 2021

More than 350 wineries spread across British Columbia are actively monitoring their vineyards, looking for signs that it’s time to harvest grapes to make the 2021 vintage. Vintners are keeping tabs on sugar and acidity levels – sugar levels increase and acidity decreases as grape ripen – as well as flavour and seed development in a bid to determine the best moment to bring in their fruit. This year’s harvest got off to its earliest start on record in August, but rain and cooler temperatures have slowed things somewhat.

With more than 80 different varieties planted in more than 900 vineyards that spill over more than 10,000 acres, there’s a lot of ground to cover – and it’s impossible to make blanket statements regarding B.C.’s wine country. Conditions in the Okanagan change dramatically from Vernon to Osoyoos, which is home to more than 80 per cent of the province’s vineyards, to say nothing of differences between Vancouver Island, Fraser Valley and the Lillooet. That said, an almost-universal theme this year is that wineries are facing a third short crop in a row.

Due to unseasonably hot temperatures when grape vines were flowering, fewer clusters of grapes formed. Winemakers are happy with the quality potential they’re seeing, but they wish grapes were more plentiful. There are also continuing concerns about potential issues with the quality of the wines due to exposure to smoke created by this summer’s wildfires. Last year, the yields in the Okanagan Valley, and the other interior regions, were down by 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

Running short at a time when interest in the wines made in B.C. continues to increase – both across Canada and internationally – means that consumers will need to monitor the releases from their favourite wineries almost as closely as the vintners watched their vineyards come to fruition.

This week’s recommendations feature nine wines from B.C., many of which were tasted last week during The Globe and Mail’s Okanagan Valley Wine Tour.

Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir 2019 (Canada), $35
True to Burrowing Owl’s ripe and rewarding red wine style, this is a richer model of pinot noir. The warmth of the Wyse family’s estate vineyard location on the Black Sage Bench makes for an intense and complex red, with a mix of ripe and dried fruit flavours that are rounded out by coffee, savoury and meaty notes. Drink now to 2025. Available in B.C. or direct at the above price through, various prices in Alberta, $47.99 in Saskatchewan, $39.95 in Ontario (2018 vintage).

CheckMate Knight’s Challenge Chardonnay 2017 (Canada), $95
CheckMate’s dynamic array of chardonnays produced in the Okanagan each year boasts tremendous depth, richness and vigour. This one comes from a vineyard located on the Black Sage Bench and offers a mix of ripe fruit, oak spice and a hint of sage/herbal notes common to wines grown in the southern Okanagan. The round and creamy character makes for one of CheckMate’s most accessible styles each year. Drink now to 2027. Available direct through

Clos du Soleil Fumé Blanc 2020 (Canada), $20.90
This enjoyable aromatic white is a blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon grown in Oliver. A mix of tank- and barrel-fermented lots were used to create a wine with refreshing fruit character and flinty and floral accents. The riper, tropical fruit flavours and rich texture make for an easy-to-appreciate wine that’s enjoyable on its own or with a meal. Drink now to 2025. Available direct through, various prices in Alberta, $24.15 in Quebec (2018 vintage).

Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (Canada), $22.95
A wine with attractive freshness and intensity, this well-made sauvignon blanc comes from estate vineyards in Oliver and Osoyoos. It’s a wine that’s been consciously made to capture an enticing array of fruit flavours, with different harvest dates and a mixture of fermentation vessels (stainless steel tanks, concrete and oak) to contribute to the texture and character. A stylish white that’s ready to drink. Drink now to 2022. Available in Ontario at the above price, $21.99 in B.C. and direct through, various prices in Alberta, $25.49 in Saskatchewan.

Mt. Boucherie Summit 2018 (Canada), $54.95
Summit is the flagship red wine from Mt. Boucherie, allowing winemaker Jeff Hundermark to select grapes from the best vineyard blocks available to him from the Okanagan and Similkameen and the best barrels of wine in the cellar. This year’s model is a mix of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and malbec, which combine for a rich and powerful red wine with winning complexity and age-worthy structure. Decant for best enjoyment if you’re planning on opening soon. Drink now to 2030. Available at the above price in Ontario, $59.99 in B.C. or direct through, various prices in Alberta.

Painted Rock Merlot 2018 (Canada), $39.99
Painted Rock has established itself as one of the Okanagan’s most ambitious estate wineries, producing a range of small batch wines from its vineyards overlooking Skaha Lake in Penticton. This merlot from the 2018 vintage is developing nicely, with a ripe core of berry and plum fruit flavours that are nicely layered with cedar, spice and savoury notes. The winery’s style has always focused on delivering ripeness and refreshment, which makes this flavourful and polished red an attractive style to enjoy now or later. Drink now to 2030. Available at the above price in B.C., various prices in Alberta, $50 in Quebec (2015 vintage) or $34.99 direct through

Phantom Creek Estates Merlot 2018 (Canada), $42
This refined and fruity expression of merlot is produced from Phantom Creek’s vineyards on the Black Sage and Golden Mile benches in the southern Okanagan. There’s a charming mix of floral and spice notes that adds interest to the ripe core of dark fruit. A supple texture and nicely balanced structure (thanks to fresh acidity that counters the sweet ripe fruit flavours) make it approachable now, but I suspect this will reward your patience if you choose to cellar some bottles to enjoy later. Drink now to 2030. Available direct through

Quails’ Gate Dijon Clone Pinot Noir 2019 (Canada), $45
Part of Quails’ Gate’s retooled Distinction Collection, this richly concentrated pinot noir showcases specific vineyard clones (varieties named 777 and 828 that are prized for the quality of wines they can produce) from estate vineyards in Kelowna. The family-owned winery was amongst the first to plant pinot noir in the Okanagan. The combination of a ripe core of fruit flavours and attractive fragrance makes for a terrific expression of pinot noir to drink or hold. Drink now to 2027. Available direct through

Unsworth Vineyards Pinot Noir 2019 (Canada), $34

Pinot noir is one of the most important grapes at Unsworth winery, located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. It is used to produce the base wines for the various sparkling wines produced each year while the very best vineyard blocks are used to create this expressive red wine. This is a lighter and brighter style of pinot noir, with bright and juicy berry notes and a silky texture that makes it enjoyable. Chill and serve with a meal. Drink now to 2023. Available direct through, various prices in Alberta.

NOTE: To read the original article click here, however please note that a Globe and Mail subscription is required.

Time Posted: Oct 6, 2021 at 4:28 PM Permalink to Nine British Columbia wines that you need in your collection Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
July 27, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Sales of Unsworth Vineyard Pinot Noir Supports Local Hospitality Sector

July 27, 2021 - BC Hospitality Foundation

Throughout August 2021, Vancouver Island’s Unsworth Vineyards will donate $1 per bottle of select wines to the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF). The initiative includes THREE premium Unsworth wines made from Pinot Noir:

  • Charme de l’île Rosé
  • 2020 Rosé
  • 2019 Pinot Noir


Time Posted: Jul 27, 2021 at 11:11 AM Permalink to Sales of Unsworth Vineyard Pinot Noir Supports Local Hospitality Sector Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
July 27, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Mulligan Stew Podcast with Terry David Mulligan

On his popular podcast—Mulligan Stew—Canadian actor and radio and television personality, Terry David Mulligan, talks to the Unsworth team about food, our acquisition of 60 more grape-growing acres, the exciting purchase by Jackson Family Wines and what it means for Unsworth's wine expansion plans.


Time Posted: Jul 27, 2021 at 10:52 AM Permalink to Mulligan Stew Podcast with Terry David Mulligan Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
June 21, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Charme de L'Île

Edible Magazine - Summer 2021

Vancouver Island's signature bubble is the zesty sipper you need for all your summer soirées.

[read full article]

[pick up a FREE hard copy of Edible in your area]

Time Posted: Jun 21, 2021 at 5:00 PM Permalink to Charme de L'Île Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
May 4, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Local wine, local food: 10 great B.C. wineries to bookmark

The Globe and Mail - April 23, 2021

A sip of crisp Chardonnay on a patio. A chilled rosé tippled at a picnic. A peppery Cabernet Franc ready to be poured at a backyard BBQ. As the weather warms, what better way to celebrate the season than with locally produced wine and victuals?

Sommelier Andrew Forsyth, named Wines of British Columbia Top Sommelier 2020 by Wine Growers BC (formerly the BC Wine Institute), says it’s an exciting time for the British Columbia wine industry.

“We are just beginning to see the potential of emerging regions like the Similkameen Valley, Vancouver Island and the Thompson Valley,” says Forsyth, who is the sommelier at L’Abattoir Restaurant in Vancouver. “[The industry] is cultivating some amazing homegrown talent and attracting wine professionals from around the world who are elevating the quality of our wines year after year.”

The art of matching wine with food is one that Forsyth is eager to share. “It’s fun when you serve combinations that guests haven’t thought of such as B.C. Pinot Noir with local sablefish. You can tell they are having that ‘a-ha’ moment.”

Want to discover your own B.C. wine moment? Here’s a sample of the almost 300 B.C. wineries that offer great outdoor B.C. wine and food experiences.

[read full article]

Time Posted: May 4, 2021 at 8:20 AM Permalink to Local wine, local food: 10 great B.C. wineries to bookmark Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
April 9, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Wine Guy: April is B.C. Wine Month

The Province - James Nevison (aka Wine Guy)

In 2018, the provincial government officially announced April as “B.C. Wine Month.” The initial proclamation was made in tit-for-tat response to the Alberta government’s then-boycott on B.C. wine. So, thanks pipeline politics!

Alas, it feels like a very long time ago when something other than COVID was inhibiting the free flow of people and goods. But now in its fourth year, the initiative has evolved to...

[read full article]

Time Posted: Apr 9, 2021 at 8:00 PM Permalink to Wine Guy: April is B.C. Wine Month Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
April 9, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Secrets and Lives—And The 7 Sins with Chris Turyk

Boulevard Magazine, Central Island - Spring 2021

Currently holding the titles of marketing director and sommelier at Unsworth Vineyards in the Cowichan Valley, Chris Turyk has been involved with the family-run business since its inception. Tim and Colleen Turyk (Chris's parents) bought the land and a sweet old farmhouse in 2009 with the idea of trying their hand at winemaking. It quickly grew into a much larger enterprise than they'd anticipated.

"We had no idea or thoughts to creating this size of business," says Chris. "It wasn't the grad plan, but it took o a life of its own, and there was no going back."

[read full article, including the "7 Sins"]

Time Posted: Apr 9, 2021 at 2:45 PM Permalink to Secrets and Lives—And The 7 Sins with Chris Turyk Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
March 11, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Western Living Names Turyk Family 2021 Foodies of the Year

Western Living Magazine - March 2021

Well it's been a year, hasn't it? The industry has been turned upside down by the pandemic, businesses have closed, jobs disappeared. But throughout it all, there were many bright lights, and here, in our 14th annual celebration of the best food folk in the West, we feel privileged to be able to shine the spotlight on a few worthy souls (and a toast to all our finalists).

Cheers to the Foodies of the Year!

[all winners]
[Turyk Family article]

Time Posted: Mar 11, 2021 at 8:28 PM Permalink to Western Living Names Turyk Family 2021 Foodies of the Year Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
March 2, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

Farming for the enlightened consumer - Chris Turyk

Upon reading the Canadian Organic Standards and transcriptions of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on Biodynamic philosophy, practical farming knowledge left much to be desired. What they lack in concrete procedures, they make up for in vague, verbose and mystical nonsense.

Hungry to understand my connection to food and the environment from which it originates, I enrolled in the University of British Columbia’s practicum in sustainable agriculture at the UBC Farm. With hands in the soil...

[read full article]

Time Posted: Mar 2, 2021 at 12:59 PM Permalink to Farming for the enlightened consumer Permalink
Unsworth Vineyards
January 29, 2021 | Unsworth Vineyards

What Is In The Bottle

Cowichan Valley Voice - January 2021 Issue - Chris Turyk

Packaging decisions are historically intrenced in the wine industry; largely based on consumer perception, very little thought has gone into the environmental impacts these decisions make. Sustainability in the wine industry goes well beyond seeding a cover crop, metering water usage and embracing renewable energy. Manufacturing and transport of glass bottles accounts for roughly 60% of the carbon footprint of the wine industry. For those who like to open a nice bottle of local wine, this will be hard to swallow—but it's true. Fortunately, there are a myriad of packaging decisions a winery can make to reduct their carbon footprint.

[read full article]

Time Posted: Jan 29, 2021 at 1:14 PM Permalink to What Is In The Bottle Permalink