40 Knots Vineyard & Estate Winery owner Layne Robert Craig shares some wine and cheese in the tasting room with Comox Valley MLA Don McRae last week. McRae was there making a funding announcement on behalf of the provincial government.

40 Knots Vineyard & Estate Winery owner Layne Robert Craig shares some wine and cheese in the tasting room with Comox Valley MLA Don McRae last week. McRae was there making a funding announcement on behalf of the provincial government.

Local winery gets provincial boost

Buy Local program is providing 40 Knots with $22,250

Local business owners Layne Robert Craig and Brenda Hetman-Craig are inviting British Columbians to sit back, relax and set sail at 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery.

The provincial government’s Buy Local program is providing the winery $22,250 of funding to increase sales and promote community awareness. 40 Knots is a popular tourist destination, offering visitors a taste of wines distinctly shaped by a windswept, sun-soaked microclimate and spectacular views of the Comox Valley.

“The 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery is a great example of a successful locally owned business that not only offers wines that highlight the flavours of the Comox Valley but is also promoting the region and bringing dollars in to the local economy,” said Minister of Environment Norm Letnick. “The Buy Local Program is a huge supporter of those companies that connect British Columbians with local products.”

The Buy Local funding will be used to launch a campaign to promote buying locally within Comox, and include traditional print advertising and online improvements to the winery’s website. Additionally, the winery will have a presence at trade shows and events to increase cross-promotion with agri-tourism in the region.

As the largest winery in the Comox Valley, Layne and Brenda’s team at 40 Knots includes four employees, many local seasonal workers, an official greeter/security officer by the name of Ziggy (the family dog), sheep, ducks, geese and lastly chickens who often try to sneak their way into the winery’s tasting room.

“Buy Local took us from zero to inventory sellout within one year,” said Hetman-Craig. “We have gained loyal customers who appreciate our traditional and locally crafted wines 100 per cent from our vineyard. Buy Local allowed us to employ local community members and participate in charitable fundraising, achieving our business objectives.”

The Buy Local program has received $6 million in B.C. government funding since 2012 to increase sales of locally grown and processed agrifood and seafood products within the province.

The B.C. government’s Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan supports the building of domestic markets and maintaining a secure food supply. This plan is a component of the BC Jobs Plan and the roadmap to leading the agrifoods sector to become a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

The provincial government’s Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia. Applications are available at: iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/buy-local/