Millstone Estate Winery is a family-run, 6-acre vineyard nestled in the Millstone River valley in the City of Nanaimo, BC. Dale Shortt obtained the property in 2001. He cleared the land and purchased and planted the vines for the vineyard. The estate vineyard focuses on Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Ortega and Gewürztraminer. The winery has also purchased Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah from growers in the Okanagan Valley. The tasting room was opened in the summer of 2009. The operation of the family business started by Dale is now transitioning to his daughter Kristi and her husband John.
Dale and Kristi are the winemakers and strive to produce classic and cultivated wines showcasing the local terroir and their unique winemaking efforts. Current production is around 1,500 cases annually.
John provided the following comments. “It was cold and wet right up until the end of May and early June. There was a minor problem with powdery mildew on some of the vines. Then a hot summer and we were able to harvest all the fruit by Halloween. We are expecting the vintage to be below average. We are compensating by making a white blend of Pinot Gris, Ortega and Gwertz. The Pinot Noir juice quality looks good this year. They have not picked up any fruit form the Okanagan this year because of the current high costs and short supply.”
Millstone Estate Winery Heritage Apple 2016 The 2016 Heritage Apple was just released. Small batches of mixed heirloom apples and Ortega grapes. The apples were hand-cut, hand-macerated and pressed into stainless and blended with Ortega. This fun, unique blend is a dry aromatic wine with beautiful notes of ripe apples and honey. This cider style wine makes the perfect Christmas gift, and the label is too cute!
Millstone Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2015 Fruity flavours and a round palate. Aged 10 months in stainless-steel. Compliments creamy and rich foods including halibut, organic chicken, and game, or garlic prawns. Semi-dry, making this a perfect West Coast white.
Millstone Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2013 This full-bodied elegant wine carries complex flavours of rich cassis and Black Cherry. A wonderful compliment to a winter roast, duck, or risotto and pasta. Serve at room temperature.
You can visit the Millstone Estate Winery website for their complete portfolio of BC wines here.
Extension of the vineyard, adding more vines. Adding more Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris vines and bringing in another white variety. We are constantly growing the business. It does take time and capital, and we have the expectation that it will take 10 years for the business to truly mature.
We plan to fire up our new wood pizza oven on Mother’s Day 2018 when we open the fully licensed patio for wine tasting. This is to support the local wine enthusiasts and tourists driving through or waiting for the ferry to Vancouver.
Source: Millstone Estate Winery provided the Winery and Vineyard information and tasting notes.