Averill Creek Vineyard
Averill Creek Vineyard is a family run 40 acre estate winery on Vancouver Island British Columbia, in the Cowichan Valley wine region. Vintner Andy Johnston, driven by a lifelong love of wine, and having gained work experience at wineries in Tuscany (Villa Delia), Australia (McGuigan Wines), France (Chateau de Terride), and New Zealand (Trinity Hill, Escarpment), founded Averill Creek in 2001. Constructed with Gravity in Mind - The Averill Creek winery is a 150-ton capacity winery built into the side of Mt. Prevost. Designed by Vasco Pavlov, it incorporates three buildings stacked together, allowing wine to flow down from one stage to the next without the need for pumps. This gravity-flow method allows for gentle handling of delicate varietals, which helps to retain their subtle characteristics. Wines arrive in the barrel room never having been pumped. The design of the winery also includes a tasting room, dining room, and a commercial kitchen. The garden patio adjacent to the winery has spectacular views of the Cowichan Valley, and is perfect for picnics. During regular hours wine is available to enjoy on the patio by the bottle or the glass. The kitchen, dining room, and patio are also available to rent for events.
Averill Creek Vineyard is located on the south slope of Mount Prevost in the Cowichan Valley, just north of Duncan BC.
- We are dedicated to producing premium quality wines that showcase the Island's unique cool climate terroir.
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Andy worked as an MD in Edmonton for several decades, establishing a highly successful chain of primary-care clinics. The 80s and early 90s were focused on raising a family and growing the business, but by the late 90s, he was ready to create a career from another great passion—premium wine. After gaining experience working at wineries in Tuscany (Villa Delia), Australia (McGuigan Wines), France (Chateau de Terride), and New Zealand (Trinity Hill, Escarpment), Andy decided he was ready, and found his ideal site. He chose the Cowichan Valley, lured by its dry-summer subtropical/ mediterranean climate (map). Having grown up on a Welsh hill farm, Andy's return to his agricultural roots has proven to be a natural transition. His favorite place to be is in the vineyard, pruning vines by hand with the rest of the Averill Creek crew.
Wendy Johnston -
Born and raised in Edmonton Alberta, Wendy worked in banking for 20+ years before her switch into the wine business. She handles the administration for the winery, and also recently finished a four year term as the treasurer for the Wine Island's Vintner's Association (WIVA).
Terry Trapnell - Vineyard Manager -
(Profile coming soon)
Estate Vineyards / AVA
Founded in 2001, the Averill Creek Vineyard sits on the southeastern slope of Mt. Prevost, and consists of 32 acres of planted vines at elevations between 118 and 240 meters above sea level. Its unique combination of soil, aspect, and climate makes it an ideal place for growing cool weather varietals.
The soil under Averill Creek is Royston-Qualicum (a blend of glacial sand and gravel) - sloped, well drained, and with a little preparation, perfect for viticulture. After the land was cleared and prepared, planting began in 2002. A vertical shoot positioning system (Guyot) is used to allow for optimal photosynthesis, air circulation, and ripening.
While the Cowichan Valley already has long, dry summers, the southern aspect of the vineyard captures enough heat that it is not unusual for it to be several degrees warmer than the surrounding valley. The southern aspect of Mt. Prevost, not coicidentally, is also a prime site for Vancouver Island paragliders, who take advantage of the warm currents of air rising from the mountainside.
Averill Creek's small-lot plantings of Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Gewürztraminer, Marchel-Foch, Foch-Cabernet, Cab-Libre, and Merlot are cared for by hand, and pruned to yield around 2.5 tons/acre. While some varietals are capable of producing much more fruit, yields are kept low to increase the quality of fruit harvested.
Great winemaking always begins in the vineyard. We are dedicated to producing premium quality wines, and growing the highest quality fruit is where we start.