Comox Valley winery wins five medals at Wine Summit

After just two years in business, Coastal Black Estate Winery continues to rack up accolades.

After just two years in business, Coastal Black Estate Winery continues to rack up accolades.

Most recently, the family-owned, family-operated winery earned five medals at the 2012 Northwest Wine Summit for its handcrafted fruit wines and meads.

“I’ve always had a love affair with anything you can put your hands on and build and shape and mould,” says Abel O’Brennan, co-owner and winemaker at Coastal Black.

O’Brennan’s passion is clearly evident in his finished products, which recently earned two silver (for still and sparkling blackberry wines) and three bronze medals (for blueberry mead and still and sparkling raspberry wines) at the Northwest Wine Summit.

In addition, Coastal Black’s wines and meads won two gold and three silver awards at the 2012 Savor Northwest Wine Awards in March; that same month, they won three silver and three bronze awards — against entries from around the world — at the 2012 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

Launched in the summer of 2010, Coastal Black produces nine varieties of fruit wine on 820 acres at the base of Mount Washington. With 80 acres of thornless blackberries plus raspberries and blueberries, the winery is the largest cultivated blackberry farm in Canada.

Four generations — ranging in age from one to 74 — live and work together to transform the fruit into Coastal Black’s tremendously successful wines and meads.

From its traditional roots as a dairy farm, Coastal Black has emerged as a modern and much-admired winery. Its most recent addition — a new bottling line custom-made in Rome (and the first of its kind to be used in the wine industry on Vancouver Island) — washes, fills, labels and screwcaps or corks 1,200 bottles per hour.

The winery also boasts a beautiful, West Coast-inspired tasting room — open noon to 5 through the summer — an outdoor patio with a brick pizza oven and an open barn-style event space.

In addition to meads and fruit wines — sold in more than 80 private liquor stores on Vancouver Island — the farm produces fresh fruit, raw honey and custom-milled lumber.

• • •

In 2010, the Ludwig family transformed their 820-acre dairy farm in Black Creek into what has since become a modern, thriving — and multiple award-winning — fruit winery and meadery. Nestled at the base of Mt. Washington on the outskirts of the Comox Valley, Coastal Black continues to be a family affair, with four generations living and working together.

Boasting 80 acres of thornless blackberries (making it the largest cultivated blackberry farm in Canada) as well as blueberries and raspberries, Coastal Black embraces organic practices — including pollinating the fruit with their own bees — to produce products of the highest standard.

For more information, visit www.coastalblack.ca.

— Coastal Community Credit Union

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