Robert Bell's Wines of Canada

 

Happiness is Visiting 40 Knots Vineyard and Winery


Layne Robert Craig and Brenda Hetman-Craig  40 Knots winery
Layne Robert Craig and Brenda Hetman-Craig

 

Comox Valley's exceptional and precious treasure is 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery. Since owners Brenda Hetman Craig and winemaker Layne Robert Craig purchased the winery has grown not only in size, but in reputation for quality wines and outstanding hospitality.

40 Knots is one of the largest grape wineries in the Comox Valley, as well as one of the largest on Vancouver Island. Using twenty-four stunning acres, on a slope facing the Salish Sea, they craft wines distinctly shaped by a windswept, sun-soaked microclimate.

We first visited the winery in Sept of 2019, and were so impressed, we made a special trip to the area again; this time bringing along our good friends Ken and Jane. If you have not been to 40 Knots WHY NOT!.

Jane Philips and Ken Jones at 40 Knots winery.
Jane and Ken who appreciate a good wine, enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of the winery.

 The winery is on a quest to become certified biodynamic, and have followed the practices since purchasing the property in 2014. Layne and Brenda believe there is something special about the land "Just stepping foot onto the property, you can feel it even if you can't explain it.  Our glacier till soil, adjacent to the Salish Sea, makes us indeed a rarity." Indeed it does, and you can taste it in the wines. Winemaker Layne is very passionate about his wines and vineyard. He believes that great wines come from the vineyard.

The marketing director who often works the tasting room is Brenda's and Layne's daughter Alana Johnston, their eldest daughter Jessalynn looks after the social media, making it a true family run endevour.

George Farquharson is the vineyard manager. Brenda's father Walter is very committed to caring for the farm animals and maintaining the vineyard.

40 Knots winery tasting room host

Megan was the hostess as we began our tasting experience on the patio. Of course we started with the whites. Originally there were two whites but we kept Megan busy running back into the winery with request for additional samples.

Our tasting experience began with the very popular Sieg (Siegerrebe) wine 2018. It provided a nice floral aroma and hints of tropical fruits. The finish added a touch of sweetness.

Next we enjoyed the 2018 White Seas, a Pinot Gris that totally reflects the Coastal Cool Climate terroir found in the comox valley, such a refreshing wine. Slightly sweet with apple dominating the complex flavours. A light spicy finish. The third white was one of my new favourites, Petite Milo 2018. A grape that thrives in the coastal climate. It provided notes of honey and melon.

The four of us debated which was our favourite as Megan went to get a sample of the Pinot Auxerrois. The Auxerrois was rich in flavours with pineapple dominating it leaves behind a bit of a tingle on the taste buds.

40 Knots has a strong cellar of white wines showing the character of the vineyard and the passion of the winemaker.

A Gamay Noir started off the reds, it was excellent. At this point co-owner and the very charming Brenda joined us, we were delighted to see her again. Brenda has been busy working with the government and other organizations to get the wineries in the valley open and running again after the COVID-19 shutdowns.

We were then joined by co-owner and winemaker, Layne Robert Craig; a Saskatchewan boy who saw the beauty and possibilities of the Comox coastal region.

Together Layne, Brenda and their team have grown and prospered with their hard work, passion, dedication, superior hospitality and true coastal wines that bring scores of 90 or better.

Layne whisked us away to the comfortable outdoor facilities overlooking the vineyard.

Layne Robert Craig - $o Knots winery photo by Robert A Bell

Robert A Bell at 4o Knots winery

Here we were treated to an amazing white Pinot Noir straight from the tank, WOW! I just had to have a second glass. We spent a very pleasant time tasting wines and listening to Layne regale us with his days as a pilot in Saskatchewan, then Fort St John as a technical engineer before finding his dream winery in Comox.

Our final offering was the delicious Trie Emily a 2017 Pinot Gris Botrytis. One could easy give this wine a perfect 100. My wife Barbara fell in love with this one during our 2019 visit.

40 Knots Winery photo by Robert A Bell
40 Knots Vineyard and Winery, 2400 Anderton Rd, Comox

 

Supporting the community is very important to the winery

On-going donations:

Project Watershed -  a donation of every bottle of 40 Knots Safe Haven sold   https://projectwatershed.ca/
Boomer's Legacy - a donation of every bottle of 40 Knots Safe Haven sold   https://www.boomerslegacy.ca/
Royal Cdn Air Cadets Squadron 386 - donation of all bottle returns

James F. “Stocky” Edwards was a fighter pilot during the Second World War; he was Canada’s highest scoring ace in the Western Desert Campaign. Stockey is now 99 and a frequent visitor to the winery. To honour him Layne releases a Stocky Pinot Gris. We were very lucky to have been allowed to sample a 2017 vintage. A very special wine. All proceeds go to the Stocky Edwards Legacy Trust  which was established under Government of Canada, and Canada Revenue Agency guidelines

Thank you 40 Knots for a very memorable visit!

Our previous visit

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