Meet the de Vine Team.
John & Cathy Windsor created de Vine Vineyards out of 25 acres of fallow, overgrown, but utterly beautiful land. Family owned and locally operated, de Vine’s goal is to be your local winery. We are active members in our community, and look forward to the opportunity to meet you! On a clear day, you can stand on the Tasting Room Patio and see Mount Baker on the horizon beyond the Saanich Peninsula. In 2007 the Windsors, along with John Thomas (Vineyard Manager), started clearing and planting primarily Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Grüner Veltliner. Quickly, de Vine Vineyards became the island’s largest planting of Grüner Veltliner, a luscious Austrian white used to make our iconic Grü V wine. Since then, de Vine has diversified the vineyard using organic traditions and techniques.
It takes a village to raise a vineyard.
It’s no different at de Vine Vineyards! John is often found driving the forklift, tractor, or farm truck around the property making sure everything gets accomplished. Meanwhile, Catherine is ensuring everyone is well fed and happy. Kirsten Titcomb, our accountant, makes sure the same is said for the books!
Ryan Windsor, John & Cathy’s son and father of two, keeps the logistics in line on the Vineyard, while also carrying the responsibility of being the Mayor of Central Saanich. de Vine Vineyards began in 2007 with the intention of supplying organically grown grapes to other wineries. Within two years a decision was made to develop a winery of its own.
John Thomas, better known as JT, has been de Vine’s Vineyard Manager lovingly tending the estate’s vines from day one. He has been integral in helping transform a 25 acre wild property into the beautiful organic vineyard it is today. Helping John Thomas is Cody Woppenkamp, our Farm & Winery Assistant who has been tending to the vines, and helping to make and monitor the wine since 2010. Cody is responsible for a wide variety of the tasks associated with wine making. JT and Cody’s positive attitudes help them accomplish the thousands of important jobs that are necessary for making our de Vine wines. We find they often finish a task before the rest of us know it needs to be done!
Ken Winchester, our Winemaker, together with Natalie Windsor, created de Vine’s first vintage in 2009. Natalie nurtured the first five vintages to bottle and grew the local reputation of de Vine Vineyards. Recently Natalie has re-located with her husband Chris Windsor to the United States, where Chris has a successful glass blowing studio. Ken is a veteran of California and British Columbia wine, and was an instructor of viticulture at UBC Okanagan. Ken is also our Master Distiller, having trained at Michigan State. He apprenticed at Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland, and founded Victoria Gin.
de Vine: Organic Wine. Simple.
de Vine Vineyards sits atop a scenic south-facing ridge-top, with good exposure and a steady ocean breeze. Our soil is shallow clay-loam with plenty of rocks for drainage. Each year, de Vine Vineyards makes approximately 2000 cases, specializing in organically processed wine. To ensure this, we use a tractor mounted weed badger that keeps weeds in check, and allows us to avoid the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. We do not use any week killing sprays! Instead, we spend a lot of time crawling around on our hands and knees, pruning and managing the growth of the vines, and picking the grapes by hand.
In order to maintain the integrity of the grapes, we handle them as little as possible. We pick by hand using a traditional Burgundian technique to bring out the best in each lot. Whites are gently whole-cluster pressed, and fermented cool and slow to maintain their bright acidity and subtle aromas. Reds are de-stemmed and given a cold soak and frequent punch downs to achieve maximum extraction of flavor and colour.
Come visit us in the Tasting Room for a flight of three wines, chosen daily by our hilarious and knowledgeable staff. Meeting visitors from the Island and from around the world, who quickly become new members of the de Vine family is without compare the best part of our job.
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