July 25th, 2020 -The 2020 Cowichan Valley Wine Festival  Aug 1-31  


The 2020 Cowichan Valley Wine Festival  Aug 1-31

In a normal year, just about now,  I’d get in the car and drive south on Vancouver Island to Cobble Hill and meet the Cowichan Winemakers on a Crush Pad.

As we all know 2020 is not a normal year. A historic pandemic has a way of shutting everything down and threatening everyone’s health and life.

How then to organize and pull off a wine festival?

With the assistance and guidance of Tourism Cowichan, the 13 wineries of the Cowichan Valley invite you to Discover Cowichan Wine.

This year the wine festival is taking place for the entire month of August.

Due to Covid19, there will be no opening party however participants can purchase a ticket for $20 which gives them a festival glass to bring to each winery. Tasting fees are waived and if you get a stamp at each tasting on your passport you then qualify for a draw at the end of August for a case of Cowichan Wine.

The wineries have been preparing to receive guests in a safe and healthy environment. Physical distancing, sanitized tastings plus safety for the guests and employees.

There is so much to celebrate in The Cowichan.  A new Sub GI designation. Cowichan now can appear on all wine labels made with Valley fruit.

And the recent purchase of Unsworth by Barbara Banke and Julia Jackson (Napa/Sonoma).


This is our first Zoom interview with the Cowichan Wineries. The audio and zoom video can be streamed on our website.

I asked our winemaking guests to highlight two wines they’re pouring…

Jill Nessel – Tourism Cowichan.GM

Mike Nierychlo – Emandare Vineyard  (Rose and Pinot Noir)

Brent Rowland – Averill Creek/Joue  (Joue White and Red)

Paul Bruner – Blue Grouse.  The owner (Estate Pinot Gris and Quill Rose)

Blue Grouse

Dan Wright – Unsworth Vineyards (Allegro and Rose)

Paul Busnardo – Divino (Trebbiano and Everything red blend)

Lorin Inglis – Enrico.GM  (Charme De Lile Sparkling and Tempest Ortega)

Xavier Bonilla – Cherry Point (Pinot Noir and Siegerrebe)

Chef and Author  Bill Jones – Deerholme Farm in The Cowichan.


A Question.  What goes best with Cowichan Wine?  Cowichan Food!

And who better to add a food component to this special than Chef Bill Jones at Deerholme Farm.

You know Bill from his dozen or so books..The Deerholme Foraging Book. The Deerholme Mushroom Book.

Bill Jones is a passionate supporter of local food communities, a founding member of FarmFolk/CityFolk, SlowFood Vancouver Island, and was a key organizer of the BC Canadian Chefs Congress.

If you’re heading to the festival, check out Bills  Thursday small dinners and special dinner Aug 15th (Mediterranean) & 22nd (Korean BBQ)

Or sign up for the always sold out foraging classes in The Fall.



Cowichan Visitor Information

[email protected]

[email protected]


Tasting Room Radio Cowichan Wine Guests –










Kathy Malone – New releases from Hillside

Hester Creek checks in

The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook – Jenn Schell

Chef Ned Bell – Naramata Inn

Food Day Canada.

Noble Ridge – a revisit

Sandra Oldfield – What’s on her mind?

Birch Block Take Two

Maenam (The Book)  – Angus An