We are a private club for those interested in making high-quality wine at home. While some newer members may use wine concentrates and kits, the majority of our members make wine from fresh or frozen grapes and/or juices in their own homes. This is not a club for those who make their wines in “U-brew” stores.
The Club meets monthly, usually in the home of one of its members. Following a short social period, a brief business meeting takes place, which is then followed by the program for that month; typically a speaker focussing on a technical aspect of winemaking. At the end of the program there is a social period where members can sample each other’s wines and discuss wine-making successes and problems.
Social meetings, which host no program, generally take place in October, December, January, and July of each year.
Many Saanich Sommelier members make wine together in order to better learn from one another. Within the club, there are also a number of small wine tasting groups, which meet outside of the club to increase their knowledge and familiarity with wines from around the world.
A number of Saanich Sommeliers members are also active in the B.C. Guild of Wine Judges.
Over the years the Club has acquired a large inventory of wine-making equipment which is made available to its members. Included are:
- Motorized crusher-destemmer
- Bladder presses
- Basket press
- Bottle filling equipment
- Bottle corker
The Saanich Sommeliers co-ordinates the bulk purchase of grapes and/or juice for the benefit of its members from the Okanagan region of BC and the USA.
Each year (in January) the club organizes a competition where anyone from a club affiliated with the BC Amateur Winemakers Association (BCAWA) can enter wines in many categories for judging and the award of medals. Our members also enter competitions organized by other clubs and the provincial competition which is held each year with one of the BCAWA affiliated clubs as host. The top wines from the provincial competition are then eligible to be entered in the National (AWC) competition which rotates amongst the active provinces.