Garry Oaks Winery

1880 Fulford-Ganges Road
Salt Spring Island BC  v8k2a5

Phone: 250 653-4687

Garry Oaks Winery

Garry Oaks Winery is located on a terraced ten-acre vineyard carved out of the south-facing gravel slopes overlooking the Burgoyne Valley on Salt Spring Island, to the Salish Sea in British Columbia, Canada.Founded 1999.

Garry Oaks grow their own grapes naturally respecting the native conditions -- sun, wind, soil -- of their vineyard. They have been called meticulous and freely confess to being so, from planning, planting and tending their vineyard, to coaxing out the unique and distinct qualities of each of their wines.

Garry Oaks wines truly express their site. Their whites carry a fine backbone of minerality from the stony fields in which they grow. Their reds are heightened by a touch of spice one occasionally tastes in the Salt Spring air. All their wines have a trademark feshness that echoes the ocean breezes drifting over their island home.

Visit their terraced vineyard overlooking the beautiful Burgoyne Valley on Salt Spring and taste their award winning wines.

Tasting Room open daily during July and August. Weekends April, May, June, September to Thanksgiving.


Year 2011

2010 Pinot Gris -- Silver medal, 2010 Northwest Wine Summit
2009 Pinot Noir, 'Best of the Event', BC Wineries Chef Meets Grape festival
Vancouver, September, 2011
2009 Zeta (Zweigelt), 'Best Reds' category, Vancouver International Wine
Competition, November, 2011. Over 850 wines from 35 countries.
2009 Zeta, Best Buy for 2012. Vancouver Magazine and Vancouver
International Wine Competition.

Year 2010

2009 Pinot Gris -- Gold medal, 2010 Northwest Wine Summit
2009 Blanc de Noir -- Silver medal, 2010 Northwest Wine Summit
2008 Pinot Noir -- Silver medal, 2010 Northwest Wine Summit

Year 2009

2008 Pinot Gris -- Silver medal, 2009 Northwest Wine Summit
2008 Prism -- Silver medal, 2009 Northwest Wine Summit
2007 Zeta -- Silver medal, 2009 Northwest Wine Summit
2007 Pinot Noir -- Bronze medal, 2009 Northwest Wine Summit
2007 Pinot Noir -- Bronze medal, 2009 Canadian Wine Awards
2007 Zeta -- Bronze medal, 2009 Canadian Wine Award
2006 Fetish -- Silver medal, 2009 Northwest Wine Summit

Year 2008

2007 Pinot Gris -- Silver medal, Taste BC 2008
2006 Pinot Noir -- Bronze medal, Taste BC 2008
2006 Zeta -- Double Gold, Wine Press Northwest "by invitation only" 2008 Platinum
Judging, U.S.A.
2006 Zeta -- Gold medal, 2008 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A.

Year 2007

2006 Pinot Gris -- Gold medal, 2007 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A
2004 Fetish -- Silver medal, 2007 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A
2005 Pinot Noir -- Bronze medal, 2007 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A.
2005 Zeta -- Bronze medal, 2007 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A.
2005 Zeta -- Bronze medal, 2007 Canadian Wine Awards

Year 2006

2005 Pinot Gris, Gold medal, 2006 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A
2004 Pinot Noir -- Silver medal, 2006 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A.
2004 Zeta -- Silver medal, 2006 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A.
2004 Labyrinth -- Silver medal, 2006 Northwest Wine Summit, Oregon, U.S.A.
2004 Labyrinth -- Bronze medal, 12th Annual BC Wine & Oyster Festival

Year 2005

2004 Pinot Gris -- Silver medal, 2005 Northwest Wine Summit
2004 Blanc de Noir -- Selected as "One of BC's Best 25 Wines", Vancouver
Magazine 2005 Eating and Drinking Guide
2003 Pinot Noir -- Bronze medal, 2005 Northwest Wine Summit
2003 Fetish -- Silver medal, 2005 Northwest Wine Summit
2003 Fetish -- Best Buy, "Big Reds", 2005 Vancouver International Wine

Year 2004

2003 Pinot Gris -- Gold medal, 2004 Northwest Wine Summit
2002 Fetish -- Silver medal, 2004 Northwest Wine Summit
2002 Labyrinth -- Bronze medal, 2004 Northwest Wine Summit
2002 Pinot Noir -- Bronze medal, 2004 Northwest Wine Summit

Year 2003

2002 Pinot Gris -- Silver medal, 2003 Northwest Wine Summit
2001 Pinot Noir -- Bronze medal, 2003 Northwest Wine Summit
2002 Labyrinth -- Bronze medal, 2003 Canadian Wine Awards


JOHN SCHREINER, Wine Author and Critic
Garry Oaks Winery Blanc de Noir 2010 Rosé. Even when the vintage is hard, as in 2010, Garry Oaks’s co-owner, Marcel Mercier, is able to deliver good grapes to his winemaking partner, Elaine Kozak. This rosé, made with Pinot Noir and Zweigelt, is a solid dry rosé, tangy and refreshing with flavours of citrus and rhubarb. 90 points.

Garry Oaks Winery Pinot Gris 2009. Refreshingly crisp, this wine has layers of fruit flavours, including apples and pears. 90 points.

Garry Oaks Winery Prism 2009. The winery has given a pronounceable name to its Gewürztraminer. It presents aromas and flavours of lime and grapefruit and has a clean dry finish. 90 points.

Garry Oaks Winery Pinot Noir 2008. The 2008 vintage was almost as tough as 2010 but you would not know it from this wine. It has vibrant flavours of cherry and strawberry and has begun to develop the supple texture of this variety. 89 points.

Garry Oaks Winery Zeta. This is the winery’s Zweigelt, an Austrian red grape that grows well on the islands. A medium-bodied wine, this has an array of red berry flavours, with a spicy finish. 88 points.

Garry Oaks Winery
2007 Estate Pinot Noir
Gulf Islands, 350 cases, 12% alc.
Excellent. Elaine Kozak makes the wine. Marcel Mercier grows the grapes. It's difficult to tell who has the more demanding job at this winery in the middle of the Strait of Georgia, but they continue to succeed. The nose is akin to fruit punch with cherries, blueberries, leather and cedar. It's exceptionally bright on the palate with beautiful Bing cherries and more blueberry, then a trailing finish of cranberry tartness. Enjoy this chilled just a bit and admire its rose color in between sips.

ANTHONY GISMONDI, Wine writer and Critic
87/100 Garry Oaks Blanc de Noir 2008
Burgoyne Valley, Salt Spring Island, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve tried this wine but it is as solid as ever. The colour is spot on with its pale pink/orange pink hue, and attractive earthy, fruity spicy nose. The entry is fresh and bright with lemony citrus notes and bits of strawberries. This is classic summer rosé that reminds me of the fine efforts we see from Provence. Bravo.
Tasted: 2009-07-11 by AG-ST
CSPC: 032011; UPC: 626990024057
Producer: Garry Oaks Winery
Distributor: Red Dog Sales and Marketing Wine & Spirits

"There are now 30 licensed wineries on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Many make wines that are curiousities at best, downright undrinkable at worst. Garry Oaks makes some of the best. In just seven years, Mercier and Kozak have achieved their original goal: making "'really, really good wine'". Check out the whole story at

Pinot Noir 2005 - "This wine has a fine dark colour for the variety, with aromas of raspberries and cherries. In the palate, there is a delicious play of fruit flavours, with a spiciness lifting the cherries and raspberries. The texture is silky. This is an elegant and pretty wine with good intensity and with the potential to benefit from cellaring."

Zeta 2004 - Jane included Garry Oaks wines in her Vancouver 100-Mile Dinner Party. Referring to the main dish of marinated smoked pork, she writes, "...the Zeta's black cherry and spice flavours elevated this dish to greatness and convinced even the wine snobs among us that great wine can be produced locally. 'I didn't think the Island could produce a good red with these characteristics: full-bodied and full-flavoured,' dinner guest Sue Alexander said, 'but I was pleasantly surprised.'"

Pinot Noir 2004 - "Smoky, Worchestershire, compost, licorice root aromas with a touch of strawberry. Soft, round, astringent entry with light tannins. Peppery, rootsy, rhubarb, compost flavours...We look forward to future editions."

TIM PAWSEY, Vancouver Courier
Pinot Noir 2004 - "A very stylish, medium-bodied Pinot, home grown by Saltspring's rising star. Forward, lifted strawberry and earthy aromas followed by firm cherry and darker fruits with some pleasing spice. Very solid."

Fetish 2003 - One of B.C.'s best 25 Wines - "4.5 Stars. Newly opened in 2003, this Salt Spring Island producer draws its name from the white oak trees that border the vineyards micro-managed by economist/winemaker Elaine Kozak and environmentalist/grower Marcel Mercier. If this long-limbed thoroughbred blend of Cabernet and Merlot typifies future releases, lineups at the door will be as long and lasting aas this wine's notable finish. The agile structure and textbook flavours emulate Bordeaux at a classified growth level, with a high-toned, seductive palate of cassis, plum, chocolate and satin-textured tannins. The only drawback is only 300 cases were produced."

CHRISTINA BURRIDGE, Vancouver magazine
Blanc de Noir 2004 - One of B.C.'s best 25 Wines - "Most B.C. pink wines are garish and sweet. This one from an exciting Salt Spring Island winery that opened in 2003 emulates the best of provence. Made from Pinot Noir, it's pale blush pink with an appetizing strawberry nose. What makes it work is the hefty acidity. Pretty and delicate to look at, it can stand up to any kind of outdoor food from grilled eggplant to grilled lamb."

Fetish 2003 - "The 2002 Fetish was one of the surprise stars of this magazine's wine awards in January (Vancouver Magazine International Wine Competition). The just released 2003 has rich, sweet fruit from Cabernet and Merlot, good structure and lush, sweet vanilla from the old and new, French and U.S. oak."

JURGEN GOTHE, radio personality and columnist in the Georgia Straight did a comprehensive review of our wines last winter.

JANCIS ROBINSON, International Wine Author and Critic
We had the good fortune to have our wines included in a tasting by Jancis Robinson (world-renown wine critic and author of several classics such as the "Oxford Companion to Wine", and "Vines, Grapes & Wine") on April 19, 2004. She included three of our wines in her list of "favourites" with the following comments:

Garry Oaks Gewurztraminer 2003 - "Very pretty and noticeably delicate...Lively with a lovely texture."

Garry Oaks Blanc de Noir 2003 - "Pale strawberry colour. Not that much nose but good fruit on the palate. Lots of acidity."

Garry Oaks Estate Pinot Noir 2002 - "Light crimson, this wine is not trying to be a copy of an Echezeaux, just a light, fruity Pinot with a good balance between fruit, acid and tannin."

JOHN SCHREINER, author of "The Wineries of British Columbia" and "British Columbia Wine Country" did a profile of us recently. Check it out on


Pinot Gris
Round, rich, dry white wine made from Alsatian clone estate-grown Pinot Gris grapes fermented in barrel and lees-aged in traditional Burgundian style. Often compared to a Chablis, this wine shows flavours of peach and pear with mineral and citrus. It pairs particularly well with halibut, scallops, crab and oysters, chicken, cream sauces and soft cheeses like goat or gorgonzola.

Blanc de Noir
Vivacious, dry Provence style rose wine made from Pinot Noir and Zweigelt grapes grown in our vineyard. A great summer sipper with flavours of crushed strawberries and spice and an intriguing umami accent.

Pinot Noir
Elegant, silky riff on a classic red Burgundy made from specially chosen clones of estate-grown Pinot Noir. Aromas of raspberries and cherries are echoed on the palate and livened by a touch of spice and toasty oak. Pair with nuanced meat dishes (especially duck and pork), salmon, tuna or grilled prawns, mushrooms, and dishes seasoned with basil, mint, or, if you're very lucky, black truffles.

Bright, aromatic white wine made from a blend of Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay. The nose hints at flowers and pineapple and the palate sings with fresh peach, lime and ginger. Yum! Lovely to sip on its own, or pair with spicy Asian cuisine, chicken, smoked meats and fish, and creamy fruit desserts. This wine gives really good burps (they qualify as 'finish' I believe).

Lush, fruit-forward red made from estate-grown Zweigelt grapes. We are one of the few wineries in British Columbia (and the first on the Coast) to grow this exciting Austrian varietal. Black cherry, floral and spice flavours are complemented by vanillan notes. Zeta pairs well with dishes that have sweet-spicy or fruit-based sauces (e.g. BBQ ribs, Moroccan lamb), salads with balsamic dressing, or strong cheeses (especially blue). No mistaking the gender of this wine (we call it wine with cleavage).

Contact Info
Phone 1 250.653.4687

Garry Oaks wines are available at the winery and a select number of specialty wine stores on Salt Spring, Vancouver and Vancouver Island as well as fine restaurants in each of those areas. Email us to order wine or to find the store nearest you.

In 1999, Marcel Mercier and Elaine Kozak left the corporate world to turn their love of the country and good wine into a way of life. They purchased a hundred-year old farm on Salt Spring Island and began the long process of converting it from sheep-grazing to wine-growing.

Over the next three years, seven acres were planted to vine and a winery built. A century-old orchard of apple, pear, plum and cherry trees was rehabilitated to enhance the beauty of the site and retain the diversity of its flora. A stand of magnificent Garry Oaks was preserved and gives the winery estate its name.

Garry Oaks Vineyard and Winery is located on Salt Spring Island, the largest of a string of islands located in the Strait of Georgia between the British Columbia mainland (the metropolitan Vancouver area) and Vancouver Island (the city of Victoria).

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