This is a story that I feel saddened to tell. Most of you are likely familiar with Starling Lane Vineyard off Old West Saanich Road. Either you have enjoyed their wine, been to a wedding on their property or have met one of the proprietors in the community. If you have you know I speak the truth when I say there is a deep, honest and welcoming soul in who they are and what they have done over the last 10 years.

Sadly this is their last year of production (they will still be doing weddings) as a winery. My bet is that their tale and forward-thinking will flavour the Wine Islands for years to come.

Consider the Celebration Brut.

I know for me and a number of my colleagues, have always said that Vancouver Island is prime Sparkling Wine country. There are many similarities between here and the Champagne region of France it is crazy. A couple of years ago in a blind tasting that was put to the test.

Local wine legend Wilf Krutzman held a tasting of sparklings wines for a small cohort of trade buyers. We were treated to premium Champagne, Cava, Cremant and Top End Sparkling wines from the likes and California and, yes Vancouver Island. The surprise of the whole tasting is how the Celebration Brut measured up to the finest of Champagne. Without exception, we all said that we would happily take the Celebration Brut over the $80 Champagne as it provided top quality and remarkable value for the money.

Each year following that tasting we all clamour to scoop up as much of the Celebration Brut as we can and thus, year trade demand is heightened because it is the last year that Celebration Brut will be produced.

The wise wine buyer will go out and grab a case because this will be a wine that people will talk about for years. In 10 -15 years when Vancouver Island is the toast of the Sparkling world you will be able to show your bottles and be able to say “look, this is the one that started it all and proved the theory right.” There have been many times that I have regretted not grabbing some of a particular vintage or from a producer… not this time.

Thank you to Jerry and Team at Starling Lane, your ten years have certainly improved the quality of my life… one sip at a time.

Here’s a link to the Starling Lane website: