The Carbrea Vineyard & Winery on Hornby Island is owned and operated by Stephen & Suzie Bishop – it has been truly wonderful to get to know this gracious, fun, generous and hard working couple and their two girls, Breanna & Carlyn. You can see how the Carbrea name came to be!
They planted their 4 acres of vines 7-8 years ago, so the vines are really coming into their own now. Last year was a fantastic one for the growth of the grapes, it makes this less than stellar year a little bit easier to take I think. With a very rainy spring and fall, there just were not enough sunny days to obtain the quantity and size that are always hoped for. Almost everyone in the agriculture industry has not had a great growing season this year.
The beauty of the vineyard in the fall is breathtaking, the colourful and tidy rows of vines cry out to be photographed.
The next photo is of some of the grapes on the vine last year – I was so happy to have been a small part of the harvest last year – cutting off big, plumb clusters of berries and filling the yellow baskets to the brim was a very rewarding experience. I was so sorry to have had to miss the event this year – maybe I’ll be able to help with the spring pruning!
With the harvest complete for this year, the next steps in the process of creating next years wines has begun. The grapes have all been through the crusher, it is incredible to watch this step take place, the stainless steel blade churns through the grapes, pushing them down into the tub and spitting out the stems into a big pile. They are so neat to see, masses of fresh, empty stems!
I do not know the details of the next steps in the process enough to write about it correctly so think it best if I stop here. What I do know though is that the stainless steel vats and large oak barrels look ready to do their part!