David and Liz Avery had a dream - to spend their days outdoors in the vineyard and to share the fruits of their labour of love. Lotusland Vineyards is the realization of that dream.
Nestled in the Fraser Valley surrounded by snow topped mountains and just 27 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean, Lotusland's three and one half hectare vineyard offers not only spectacular views, but also the perfect coastal climate for growing some of the world's finest wine grapes.
The south sloping vineyard is separated into plots of different mixtures of growing medium specifically suited to the various grape varieties. The vineyard grass is mowed by the 45 sheep, the 4 legged wooly creatures do a thorough job. The spring pruning is also done by the sheep. Grape leaves are "Candy" to the sheep.
The beginning of the new millennium was the beginning of a new life for Master vintner David Avery, who left a 15 year sales and marketing career to build his new family business. Their first vintage in 2001, was the result of a great deal of hard work and both David and wife Liz remain hands-on proprietors - from planting to bottling, they are actively involved in all aspects of production.
Additional labour is provided by an international array of hands they affectionately call "WWOOFers". The World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program provides international travel and organic farming experience to men and women from around the globe.
The goals of the WWOOF program include teaching organic growing techniques as well as providing city dwellers the opportunity to experience rural life. When you are born and raised in Tokyo, the Lotusland vineyard can change your world view, evoking the comment from one such visitor that she couldn't believe how "big the sky was" here.
Lotusland hosts up to five WWOOFers at a time and have had more than 400 people from Japan, Switzerland, and Germany, Australia, Italy, & New Zealand participate in the program. "We love sharing our wonderful rural life," says Liz, who says she is often serenaded by the vineyard crew who sing merrily as they tend to their daily tasks.
David and Liz are humming a happy tune as well. Their family business has a growing "family" of Lotuslanders who share their love of Lotusland brand premium wines.