Corlan Vineyard’s owners are Pat and Selwyn Jones. After clearing most of their ten acres, five south facing acres are planted to vines, mainly with Maréchal Foch and Ortega. They planted in 2008, with about 5,000 vines that Selwyn and Pat propagated from cuttings in their own greenhouse. The farm has been certified organic since 2010.
Born in Wales in 1933, Selwyn’s background is in silviculture, he began his career in Britain. The postwar government there was planting extensively to build a lumber resource to withstand a five year war. When that policy was shelved, Selwyn resumed his career in British Columbia in 1967. At the time the forest ministry was propagating millions of trees and giving them without charge to the forest companies for replanting. In 1980, when the government decided it should sell seedlings, Selwyn opened his own forest seedling nursery, Sylvan Vale Nursery, at Black Creek on Vancouver Island. Now owned by his daughters, Iola and Siriol, Sylvan Vale has grown to more than 46 greenhouses for propagating seedlings for the forest companies.
Selwyn was introduced to viticulture when some of the new Cowichan Valley wineries asked him for grapevines in the early 1990s. He estimates that he propagated as many as 20,000 vines a year.
Pat has spent most of her life on the Gulf Islands, Denman being her fourth (and last)! Growing up with small scale market gardening and poultry raising the transition to planting a vineyard and having a winery just took that to a new level. Her previous businesses were a Bed and Breakfast which she built and ran with Selwyn and as a Tartan weaver. She is still finding some spare moments for weaving for clients here and abroad.