COWICHAN VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Averill Creek is the brainchild of Andy Johnston, a former medical doctor turned winemaker. After deciding to pursue his greatest passion, he proceeded to work at several international wineries in Australia, France, Italy and New Zealand. Determined to achieve the insight necessary to open a world-class Pinot Noir producing winery, Andy returned to his agricultural roots and settled in the Cowichan Valley where he was lured by its climate and its great potential for Pinot Noir. In 2001, he selected and planted the now-30 acre site on the side of Mount Prevost.
The property is surrounded by old-growth forest, which provides not only protection but a range of growing conditions, and hence character in the fruit, owing to varying amounts of sunlight and shade in different plots. The vineyard is situated on Royston-Qualicum soil, which is made up of a blend of glacial stone, clay, and old-growth organics, allowing sufficient drainage and root penetration. In the vineyard, the team takes cues from both organic and biodynamic principles, taking both a permacultural and regenerative approach to farming, with particular emphasis on soil.
Their aim is to produce honest wines that reflect the site and the vintage, but that first and foremost give pleasure. By intervening less, there is a clear segue from vineyard to glass. In order to express the elegance, texture, perfume and refreshing quality of these cool climate wines, techniques such as foot-stomping, skin contact, whole-bunch fermentation and lees ageing are employed in order to enhance these characteristics.
What you ultimately get are quality, focused wines with complexity, perfume, poise and restraint.