Communal Beat

Continuity, Collaboration, Community and Celebration – Beaufort Winery

A Visit with Mark Timmermans of Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery

CB-Beaufort_Mark-Timmermans

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography

Last year, there was a ton of speculation and curiosity following the sale of Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery to James and Suzy Amis Cameron. Mark Timmermans, recently moved to the valley with his wife Freya and their 3 children to take on the role of General Manager, graciously agreed to an interview with Communal Beat. The news? Susan and Jeff Vandermolen, the founders of the Comox Valley’s first estate winery would be staying on as consultants to assist Mark and Freya, continuing to produce world class, handcrafted wines. As Mark said, “Business as usual.”

beaufort winery

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography.

Turns out, ‘as usual’ is pretty great! Working with owners who are happy to have the whole family involved. Continuing to win awards. Living the mission of sustainable farming and low-impact methods. Hiring a talented group of like-minded local trades people. Being part of a community that whole-heartedly supports, celebrates and drinks your product! And that’s not all….

We caught up with Mark in the middle of May, the day after Beaufort had just won 6 medals at the 2015 All Canadian Wine Championships!  (For those of you – like us – who enjoy wine but know little about it, the new wines are the 2014 crop of White Wines. Red takes a couple of years to mature).

beaufort winery

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography.

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography.

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography.

Just a few days earlier, Mark and Freya hosted the unveiling of Beaufort’s new Tasting Room. Well, new and not so new. The location is the old barn, which has been carefully renovated within its original footprint to incorporate existing walls, old timbers and barn materials as much as possible. The space now houses not only the Tasting Room, but the winemaking as well. Hanging out in the Tasting Room with its original barn wood accents, you can look right through to the winemaking tanks. And the barrels are in an adjacent room.

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography.

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography.

Ready to visit? As Mark points out, the new space still has the “intimacy and coziness while being more interactive… and also way more efficient.” They’re open Thursdays – Saturdays from noon ‘til 5 through August 29th. Tour the winery, sip some different vintages, see what you like, buy a bottle (or a case*). We’ll completely understand if you decide to hang out, open a bottle and stay and enjoy their beautiful picnic area….

Talking with Mark, his appreciation for working and living in a sustainable way, with his family and with really great people comes through. Best if he tells it: “Susan and Jeff are fun people to work with, and they are also extremely knowledgeable and organized. So that aspect has been critical but it has also been a nice affirmation of the whole thing; it has worked out really great. So, between the Cameron family as the owners, Jeff and Susan as the wine makers, and Freya and myself, managing the day-to-day operations of the business? Yeah, that just works well.” It sure does. Good for people, planet and the business too!

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography.

Credits to Gordon Ross Photography.

*So What’s the Case Club?
Once you purchase a Case – any 12 bottles of wine – from Beaufort wines, you are officially in the Case Club! The perks? Discounts up to 15%, invitations to events, and advanced notice of new releases.
You can order online at www.beaufortwines.ca or call 250 338 1357. Better yet, visit the winery at 5854 Pickering Road, Courtenay, to experience winegrowing from the vine to the glass.

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