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New winery opens in Comox

Vancouver Island's newest winery is in Comox, just a stone's throw from the Strait of Georgia.

Vancouver Island's newest winery is in Comox, just a stone's throw from the Strait of Georgia.

Proprietors Bill and Michal Montgomery announced this week the launch of 40 Knots, which they describe as a magical place where the forces of nature are at play.

In 1996 when they first saw the 24-acre site, the  Montgomerys were deeply influenced by the location's wind and seaside atmosphere. Idyllic, the surroundings are complete with salty air, sea lions, eagles and playful swallows, making the nautically inspired name a natural fit.

From a grape-growing standpoint, the unique windswept environment at 40 Knots results in a drier leaf canopy, which creates a positive growing environment for vines when combined with plentiful sunshine and warm days.

It make sense that Bill Montgomery would choose a seaside winery location, as he has made the shift from his previous life, which was on the water managing a fleet of tugboats, to life in the vineyard. The vineyard site was initially a hobby farm, which meant a lot of heavy duty work during its transition to winery, including clearing the land and planting the vineyard.

To help achieve opening a winery as a second, later-life career, Bill hired a youthful, dynamic team of Natasha Ponich, who makes the wine, and Matt Rademakers, who looks after the vineyard.

In addition, Christine Leroux takes on the role of consulting winemaker.

The winery launches with a small, well-made production from 2009 and 2010 of pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot noir and a rosé. Each wine reflects the unique Vancouver Island location it is from.

The winery's small lots of handcrafted wines are in short supply, with limited distribution to fine wine stores and restaurants. 40 Knots wines can be found in select private stores and restaurants in B.C., or people can order directly from the winery by calling 250-941-8810.

40 Knots has a location onsite where purchases can be made by calling ahead and its new tasting room is set to open this summer.

For more information, visit

— 40 Knots