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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Wine not?

This morning started with a grey, rainy, cool +2C day. I feel like using that classic line which starts many a book “It was a dark and stormy night”! The archetypal style of writing called ‘Purple Prose‘ or really flowery, ornate writing! I don’t really mean to start with the weather forecast every day, but I think that when you’re retired, what is happening with the weather influences your day more. The weather either motivates you to get up and get going, or to stay home and chill out, since what can’t be done today, will be done tomorrow, or the next day!

We had a busy day planned today. First up was a call with Kerri, our financial planner at Scotia Mcleod, a drive up to Courtenay for strength training and a visit with my osteopath in Comox. Three appointments in one day! OH MY!! A lot for a retired couple to manage!

I tried again with CanPar to live chat this morning on where the ‘Bees Wax Works’ candles were that should have arrived last week from Ladysmith, but the live chat function doesn’t work too well at CanPar. After waiting twice for 5 minutes each time, for someone to chat with me, I abandoned the chat function. I also contacted the shipper yesterday to see if they could help locate the parcel. The shipper said they would try and track the candles down for me with CanPar as long as I tried on my end too. It certainly would have been easier to take our order in person last week in Ladysmith while we were there, than having both of us working on trying to find out where the candles are! The ongoing issues of trying to get anything delivered to us at the. Post Office in Union Bay. If only we had delivery to our RV site. That would be the ticket!

We left the water running all last night in Richard’s bathroom, because we could not get the heated hose we had purchased yesterday at ‘Big Boy’s Toy’s‘ to work on our power pedestal at our RV site, as the plug wasn’t working. This morning Richard unfortunately turned off the water in his bathroom after he finished shaving, and sure enough, the next time I went to use the water, before my shower, the water pump came on - which meant that we once again had a frozen water hose. Richard called Matt, the RV park owner who was too busy this morning to deal with the issue so Richard took an extension cord and plugged into the hose into Jim’s, (our neighbour from Fernie , B.C.), power pedestal to get the heated hose working.. Now we finally have a heated hose for the RV! Richard asked Jim if it was ok, since we each pay our own electric bill at each RV site, based on our consumption. Jim says we can’t afford him for his electricity! Thanks Jim. I think you will be St. Jim now too!. Matt just texted Richard and told him the GFI on the plug is shot, so Matt is going to pick up a new GFI and fix it for us tomorrow. It is always something with an RV, but we are lucky to have such great neighbours and an RV community that cares!

We had a great call with our financial adviser at Scotia McLeod who has been following our blog and says that ”we are living her retirement dream life right now”! We are so happy to have someone who we ware working with who is so responsive and understands our goals!

We quickly headed up to Courtenay to my strength training session where I now have to provide Paul, my strength trainer with a ‘factoid’ of Island information from our travels, every time I see him. Its amazing how much we have been able to learn in the short time we have been on the island about where in the Comox Valley to go for things. Where to hike, where to eat, where to shop, etc etc feels like we are becoming ‘locals’ now. I guess this happens after being in one place for 3 months and its a ‘comfortable’ feeling for us.

When I was at strength training I asked Richard if he wouldn’t mind picking me up some fresh veggie sushi to eat on the way over to Comox for my osteopathy appointment. Today we had 30 minutes between appointments, so there was no need to drive like our hair was on fire between Courtenay and Comox.

The sushI on the Island is so good! Richard had the dynamite roll finished before I even got out of my strength training session!

After my osteopathy appointment with Abbie who worked a lot on my thumb of all things (I’ve got photographer’s thumb), we decided to drive out to a property we had seen just outside of Courtenay. As we were driving to see the property, we stumbled across a winery that we had not seen before. We decided that we would come back to the winery and see if it was open. WINE NOT? There was nothing else to do on such a rainy day!

40 Knots Winery! We had to go in for a tasting and learn all about this winery.

As we drove into 40 Knots in Jerry. A very rainy wet day.

The vines are looking a little cold and bare this time of year!

40 Knots tasting pavilion. The glass in the pavilion is removable and is meant to withstand winds up to 300km/hr. The tasting we had today was held in the pavilion and we were the only people there! Perfect! The winery is very close to the Salish sea and the salty, windy air provides the right terroir for the cool climate wines that 40 Knots produces.

The many varieties of wine made by this vineyard and of course Richard chatting up the staff!

A guide to 40 Knots wines.

We were greeted by Jenn Keumbehdjian who showed us around the tasting area and introduced us to 40 Knots wines. We decided to do a 1/2 flight of reds and a 1/2 flight of whites, so we could both share in the tasting.

Jenn pouring us our flights. The way to experience the flights ourself was to start at the top glass and work our way down, to the lowest wine glass on the stand. The card at the top of each stand explained the notes on each wine and we were able to discover and experience the wines ourselves.

Jenn setting up our wine tasting in the beautiful glass pavilion for us. The first priority though was to turn the heaters on in the ceiling to warm the place up! Jenn explained to us that the winery was started back in 2005 by a former tug boat captain and the ‘40 Knots’ reference was the highest wind speed that he would NOT take his tug boat out on the sea. The winery was sold to the current owners Layne Robert Craig and his wife Brenda Hetman-Craig in 2014, after which they decided to pursue a biodynamic certification for the winery. Farming traditionally and biodynamically was the way our grandparents farmed and 40 Knots is proud to continue on this path. Since the farm became biodynamic, the grapes are disease free the wines taste better and there is no need for irrigation. Combining old world traditions with new world technology, there are no additives in the 40 Knots wines and customers often thank them for being able to drink their wines with no adverse symptoms. The wines are vegan and gluten free with absolute minimal sulphites that are naturally occurring only. I couldn’t wait to start this tasting after hearing all about the wines! I have often had a headache the next day after having 1 glass of wine and I attribute it to the sulphites and additives that are put in the wines. Jenn did say that 40 Knots was one of the first wineries to list every ingredient in their wines on their labels. There are apparently up to 900 things that can be added to wines, to provide the taste that a wine maker is looking for. Having the ingredients listed on the label attests to how little they ’mess’ with Mother Nature in the wine making process at 40 Knots.

We wondered whether the ‘40 Knots’ name or reference for the winery still applied though since the tug boat captain no longer owned the winery? We found out that the new owner, Layne Robert is a pilot and ‘40 Knots’ is the stall speed of his bush plane!, so in fact the reference to ‘40 Knots’ still does in fact apply!

How appropriate to have the mats at the winery with the ‘Stall Speed’ reference to Layne Robert’s plane! We also noticed this same logo on the bottle of Meritage which we ended up purchasing after our tasting!

Richard trying a glass of the red Meritage wine..

Jenn brought us some blankets, which really helped us enjoy our tasting!

Our view from the tasting pavilion. I could only imagine how spectacular this view would be on a hot summer day when all the vines were in bloom.

Shooting back from the tasting pavilion to the wine shop. The pavilion was really stunning!

After finishing our tasting we headed back to the wine shop to buy some wine and show Jenn and Alana Johnson (the owner’s daughter) our blog website.

Alana and Jenn. We told them they would be featured today in our blog. Alana is holding a bottle of the Pinot Noir, which was just bottled today!

Of course we had to buy 6 bottles of our favourite wines! The Northern Rough-Winged Swallow that adorns ‘40 Knots’ label is native to the area of Comox and frequents the vineyard each year. Since the vineyard is working towards their biodynamic certification, the swallows are essential to being a part of the crew at the vineyard. Swallows will only live in areas that surround biodynamic balance and their presence speaks volumes to the 40 Knots green vineyard practises. Swallows will never harm the grapes and are an excellent bug predator. The winery provides swallow birdhouses built to keep the birds safe and give them a home to return to every year.

We bought 2 bottles of White Seas, 2 bottles of Meritage and 2 bottles of Pinot Gris. These were our favourites from our tasting today, although all of their wines were fantastic!

We found out that 40 Knots has a Wine Club, a Culture Club, Wine Classes and a Book Club and they offer free shipping across Canada for our friends back in Ontario who would like to try them out! Check out 40 Knots winery at

Tomorrow is the day we have been waiting for since mid-December when we found out about Ship and Shore Restaurant in Deep Bay! We have a reservation for dinner tomorrow evening at 7pm. I won’t be able to tell you about how good it was until Saturday, but we are really look forward to dining at this top rated Trip Advisor restaurant!

Well we are more than half way through February. What a relief! I always thought that February was the ‘longest, shortest month’ since it seemed to drag on forever with winter storms and the coldest, most frigid temperatures. Our snow on the Island is melting and we are hopeful that with +9C weather coming our way on the weekend, we might get out golfing again next week! We have quite a few 18 hole courses to still try while we are here, but we want to play them in dryer conditions. Let’s hope that the rain stops soon and the snow melts, and the sun shines!

In the meantime, the Pinot Gris from 40 Knots over dinner was delicious! Wine not have a glass of wine and forget about this crappy winter and everything else going on in the world right now?!! Cheers!

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