The Zanatta family has owned and operated our Cowichan Valley farm since the late 1950s and, over the decades, we have developed an intimate acquaintance with our land. We are a full service winery and we do everything on-site at the vineyard we call home. Delicious, affordable and accessible: our wine is satisfying on every level.
The best fruit comes from working with nature, rather than against it. That’s why we farm respectfully and knowledgeably. We are avid gardeners who appreciate the natural give and take required to cultivate our land. All of our pressings are composted and put back into our vineyard or vegetable gardens to produce food for Vinoteca. We try to use natural materials whenever possible, such as willow withes to tie our canes in the Spring, and we minimize tillage of our soil to encourage a ground cover on the vineyard floor. This reduces damage to our soil, increases organic matter and water permeation and creates an area for beneficial insects to thrive.
Classically trained and educated in viticulture and horticulture, we craft our wines using traditional methods. Vinification is a delicate art. We use a Bucher press that features a pneumatic bladder. Our process is extremely gentle on the grapes, which makes it possible for us to create special wines such as our Damasco. Our bottling line ensures minimal handling for the best possible product.
Champagne-style wines are our specialty and we are proud to be the first on Vancouver Island to produce them. Incredible wines to make, the base for champagne wine is altered significantly during the course of the vinification process. Our champagnes are fermented in the bottle, then aged in wooden crates for a minimum of 18 months and often longer. This extended aging develops the flavours and mouthfeel, allowing for a better integration of the carbon dioxide. Our champagnes boast small, persistent and plentiful bubbles, a sure sign of quality that is the essence of the champagne experience.
With decades of experience behind us–we have put out over 20 vintages of our signature Glenora Fantasia–we know what our base wines will become even before bottling. We love the art and science of winemaking, which is why we are involved in every step of the process. All of our champagnes are hand riddled and disgorged, which means that each bottle receives personal attention, ensuring quality and consistency in every glass. Tasting our champagnes throughout vinification lets us evaluate exactly where our wine is at through every stage. The subtleties in flavour allow us to assess how much more time is needed to achieve the best flavour possible. Each year we get to know our grapes a little better and we hope you will too.