Summer Events at Blue Grouse Winery

If you’re looking for enjoyable events that pair well with a staycation or Vancouver Island visit, Blue Grouse Estate Winery has you covered from sophisticated evenings to family fun.

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Friday Night Flights
June 7 – August 30
  • Winery open until 7pm on Fridays
  • Drop-in
  • Order a flight of 3 wines only, or a food-paired flight from a rotating calendar of chefs
  • Our winemaker Bailey Williamson kicks off cooking on June 7 (also on July 12 and August 2)
  • Farms Gate Foods creates the pairings June 14, July 5 and August 23.
A Jazz Evening with Misha Piatigorsky

New York resident and famed jazz pianist Misha Piatigorsky will be gracing Blue Grouse with a cabaret-style piano concert in our upstairs lounge. You won’t want to miss this intimate show.
  • Saturday June 15, 7-9pm
  • Doors open at 6 pm
  • Tickets are $35 + GST
  • Charcuterie, cheese and vegan boards; wine by the glass or bottle are available to purchase all evening.
2nd Annual Father’s Day Bocce Tournament
Spend the day with dad drinking wine and overlooking the vines, all while supporting the community.
  • Sunday June 16th from 12-3pm
  • Bocce balls provided
  • All registration fees and $5 per bottle of wine will be donated to Nourish Cowichan. Tickets can be purchased online or at the tasting room.
Concert in the Vines with Heartwood 
Heartwood is the new and perfect pairing of award-winning singer-songwriters Jack Connolly and Genevieve Charbonneau from our own Cowichan Valley. Jack and Genevieve are outstanding performers in their own right, but when their songwriting talents, charisma and musical chops are combined, the result is roots and folk magic. The duo are joined by a band for this special evening of music.
  • Saturday August 17 from 7:30 to 9:30pm
  • Doors open at 6:30pm
  • Tickets are $20 + GST
  • Wine by the glass and bottle available for purchase all evening.
Cowichan Wine Festival
The Cowichan Valley Wine Festival is a tasting and touring event showcasing the best of Vancouver Island wine from 11 local wineries.
Kick-off Event, August 23rd: Start the weekend off right and join all the wineries for our evening tasting event at Shawnigan Lake School.
Winery Touring, August 24th – 25th: Spend the rest of the weekend self-touring Cowichan’s fabulous wineries with map and passport in hand. Visit the wineries and collect stamps to fill the passport. Collect all the stamps and you can enter the draw for a grand prize!
Tickets will be available for purchase on the Tourism Cowichan website closer to the event date, or simply purchase a festival glass and passport at your first stop and keep it with you. This glass is your ticket and entitles you to 3 free tastings at all 11 participating wineries!
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Catching up with a BC Wine Legend: Harry McWatters

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BC’s wine industry has grown substantially over the past 50 years. It is hard to believe that there was only a handful of wineries in BC in the 1980’s to over 300 today. There have been notable individuals who have changed BC’s wine industry, including the one and only, Harry McWatters. We had a chance to catch up with him before he comes to Vancouver next week for the Vancouver International Wine Festival, happening from February 11-19.

Harry has celebrated many milestones in his career in the industry. Starting off as a salesman for Casabello Wines back in 1968, he realized one important thing: truly understanding your consumer and making changes to keep up with their demands. After moving and falling in love with the Okanagan, he founded Sumac Ridge in 1980. At this time, Sumac Ridge was a Golf Course so he shortened the course and planted the first set of grapes, consisting of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay.

Sumac Ridge is a special place- it’s BC’s first Estate Winery. And in 1987, it was also the birthplace of BC’s first traditional method sparkling wine, Sumac Ridge Stellar Jay Cuvee, which Harry believes converted people to the idea of drinking wine. It was cold, bubbly, sweet and an easy transition that was more approachable by the average consumer- which is still true to this day, almost 30 years later. Sumac Ridge is also still very well known today, especially for the Gewürztraminer- Canada’s largest selling white BC VQA wine.

Another notable moment in Harry’s career was in 1990, when he became the founding chair for the BC Wine Institute and Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) Canada. This was one of the most pivotal turning points in the industry as a regulatory system was established which guarantees the high quality and authenticity of origin for Canadian Wines. He also produced Canada’s first Meritage wine and received an Order of BC in 2003 for his contributions to the Canadian wine industry.

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Fast forward to today, Harry now owns three wineries: McWatters Collection, TIME Winery and Evolve Cellars, which has a beautiful new tasting room in Summerland- a great spot for lunch!

This spring, expect exciting things from TIME Winery as Harry opens BC’s first city winery in Penticton. The winery is being constructed in the local theater, The Pen-Mar Cinema, which was build back in 1956 that Harry actually went to as a young boy. Crews are currently revamping the four existing theaters and turning them into the Fermentation Hall, the Barrel Cellar, the Stainless Tank Storage and finally, the fourth theater, will be used for special events. The new winery will also be home to a new tasting room, wine shop and bistro. Knowing how important the wine experience and consumer is to Harry, I know this is going to be a great spot and is on our list to visit this summer!

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Some would argue that there wouldn’t be such an authentic BC wine industry without Harry. Be sure to go say hi and visit this BC Wine Legend on the tasting room floor during the Vancouver International Wine Festival!

Be sure to get your tickets for the Vancouver International Wine Festival before they sell out!!