Named for the gale-force winds that often strike the coast of Vancouver Island, 40 Knots Winery is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to offering their customers delicious natural wines.
When thinking of wineries on Vancouver Island, our thoughts typically lead us to the Cowichan Valley – a place well known for its food and wine. However, a more northern region of Vancouver Island is slowly but surely building a reputation in the same industry.
With its mild climate and fertile soil, Comox Valley is fast becoming a significant producer of as many award-winning wines as their counterpart to the south. 40 Knots Winery is one such vineyard responsible for making that happen.
Located adjacent to the Salish Sea on a windswept, sun-soaked microclimate, 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery is the largest grape producing vineyard in the region and the second largest on Vancouver Island.
Upon parking in the large lot, you are swept away by the beauty of the 24 acres laid out in front of you.
The natural glacial slope of the land leads towards the ocean on one side, while farm-land surrounds the rest. In fact, the vineyard itself is a mini-farm of sorts. Resident ducks and chickens mow the grass and weeds. And they, along with the Northern Rough-Winged Swallows that grace the sky, control the pests naturally.
You see, 40 Knots is committed to sustainability through continuous certification in Green Tourism.
What is Green Tourism?
Green Tourism can best be described as a low impact, environmentally-friendly practice that cherishes not destroys. This is why all the vineyard grapes at 40 Knots are handpicked, and resident fowl help with landscaping.
The many swallows you see soaring above you, are in fact, a testament to the clean green vineyard practices. While many wineries deter birds from entering their vineyards, at 40 Knots swallows are warmly welcomed as part of the biodynamic crew.
The swallows are so cherished here they adorn the labels of each bottle of Estate wine!
40 Knots Winery grows four noble varieties: Pinot Noir; Pinot Gris; Chardonnay; and, Gamay Noir. Plus, two German hybrids: Schonberger and Siegerrebe; and, one French hybrid: Pinot Auxerrois. The majority of their rootstock arrived from France in 2005.
Grown with traditional farming methods, along with the Green tourism practices mentioned above, 40 Knots produces fruit-forward elegant wines that are both vegan and gluten-free. With no chemicals or unnatural preservatives used anywhere on the vineyard or during production, the wines are a full step above what is considered organic in the industry.
A lot of the red wine on the market has added Sulphites, which can cause negative reactions for many people. On the contrary, 40 Knots Winery often hears praises from returning customers for producing wine that causes no adverse effects.
But it’s not just customers who rave about the wine.
Several of the wines from 40 Knots have received GOLD in the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards. Plus you’ll find many great reviews on their website from prominent wine experts in the industry.
If you need further proof that these wines are top-notch, then sampling a few is something you should do!
The Tastings & Experiences
40 Knots Winery offers a variety of unique experiences one should not miss out on.
Cellar Tasting Lounge
Stop at the Cellar Tasting Lounge and Wine Shop one afternoon for a complimentary tasting. Yes, they are so sure you’ll love their wine, the tastings are FREE! The tastings are led by a qualified crew, who are also extremely happy to share their expertise of not only the vineyard and wine but the Comox Valley area as well.
No reservations are required for a tasting.
With this option, you get private reserved seating, plus 6 premium tastings offered by a tasting room associate. The tastings include a variety of styles from sparkling, still and port-style wines. Reservations are required for the Premium Tastings. Please check the 40 Knots website for current pricing.
Guided Vineyard Tour and Tasting
Take a guided stroll through the vineyard while you sip a selection of delicious wine. Along the way, you’ll stop at each varietal and get a premium sample of that particular wine. You’ll also learn about the growing stages, as well as what biodynamic farming is all about.
Depending on the time of year, you may have an opportunity to see pruning or harvesting in action. Reservations are required. Please check the website for current pricing and times.
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour guided by Megan. It was such a neat experience to sip the wine brought to us from the very same vines we were standing beside. Megan was a wealth of knowledge about the vineyard, no matter what question we threw at her.
Self-Guided Interpretative Trail
Enjoy a self-guided interpretative walk through the vineyard. The trail is designed for an easy 20-minute stroll, and it’s kid-friendly! Ask about the “On’Tom’all’O’G” game. Kids will have fun searching for the bug helpers in the vineyard and get awarded with a Graduation pin upon completion. The Interpretative Trail is free of charge and no reservations are required.
Have you found a wine you want to try more of? Then purchase a full glass or bottle, along with a picnic lunch, and head out onto the beautiful terrace. 40 Knots offers a selection of locally made items to choose from, including freshly baked baguettes, cheeses, smoked salmon, sauces, chocolate and more. Let them know which items you require and they will serve it up in a lovely picnic basket stocked with plates, linens, and glasses. A truly unique experience which only adds to an already delightful afternoon.
There’s always something happening at 40 Knots Winery. Locals especially love Wine Wednesdays. A variety of entertainment, ranging from Blues to Opera, plus delicious food prepared by local chefs, and of course plenty of wine, makes for a fantastic evening. Check out their events calendar for current happenings.
The terrace is also available for private events (more information can be found on the website).
The Wine Shop
The wine shop holds more than just bottles of award-winning wine. Here you’ll find unique gifts and quality merchandise, including their very own spa line called Vino Spa.
Don’t want to leave home? Much of what you find in store, including the wine, can be purchased online too.
Location & Hours of Operation
40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery is located at 2400 Anderton Road in Comox, BC
They are open from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Tuesday – Sunday (closed Mondays) year-round.
Have you experienced 40 Knots Winery yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
*Disclosure: A Guided Vineyard Tour and Tasting was provided by 40 Knots Winery. Opinions are my own.