Pacific Breeze Winery
By Christine Rowlands

An Urban Winery with a Big Backyard

Though Dylan Hamilton, co-winemaker at Pacific Breeze Winery, says that “great wines are made in the vineyard,” it doesn’t necessarily follow that said vineyard needs to be at the winery. For this New Westminster “garage” winery, its virtual backyard stretches far and wide. They select grapes for their award-winning wines from vineyards throughout BC, the Pacific Northwest and California. “It takes the stress out of it that we don’t have to worry about viticulture and can just focus on making a great wine,” says Dylan.

His father, Pacific Breeze Winery owner Maurice Hamilton agrees. “We’re very selective who we work with in terms of growing grapes,” he says. “We don’t have that backyard here, so we can go to other people’s backyards and select the grapes they’re famous for.”

We’re very selective who we work with in terms of growing grapes. We don’t have that backyard here, so we can go to other people’s backyards and select the grapes they’re famous for. - Maurice Hamilton, owner
Pacific Breeze Winery, Wine club, tasting room, private tasting, winery tours, wines (red, white, late harvest)
A big bottle of Killer Cab among barrels of Pacific Breeze wine.

The Romance of Wine Country, in the City

The concept of an urban winery is unique in Canada — that is, where wines made on site can be tasted and purchased directly — but is a tried-and-true concept south of the border. In fact, the Hamiltons came up with the idea for their business after visiting Woodinville, Washington, a town just northeast of Seattle that is chockablock with tasting rooms and urban wineries.

They set up shop in New Westminster in 2005 and released their first wines in 2007. Despite the slightly-off-the-beaten-track locale – the business has to be in an industrial zone rather than commercial – the winery and its offerings have grown. About 17 wines are on offer, from the popular “Killer Cab” and “AssasZin” labels to small lots and reserves.

The winery has also expanded its footprint from a tasting room/store in front and production facility in back to include a wine barrel room for private group tastings and events. Surrounded by oak barrels stacked almost 12 feet high, wine quietly aging away inside, guests nibble cheese and chocolate while they are guided through Pacific Breeze’s portfolio.

Pacific Breeze Winery, Wine club, tasting room, private tasting, winery tours, wines (red, white, late harvest)
Plenty of Can’t Remember, made with BC grapes, is in store.

Drink Local with the Family

On any given day, you can visit the winery’s cozy tasting room to sample what’s available. “We always have a few things open under the counter, and we like helping people find what they like,” says Maurice. You don’t have to know a bunch of wine terminology to express your preferences either. “We’re pretty comfortable with the quality of our wines, so it’s okay if something isn’t to your taste,” added Dylan.

With a range of reasonably priced wines to choose from, it is likely you will find something to sip on. If you really like it, you can join the Pacific Breeze Winery’s wine club to receive case-lot discounts, private tasting sessions and seasonal shipments of your favourites and/or limited edition bottlings. It’s a bit like being a member of the extended family in this family business.

Pacific Breeze wines can also be found at private wine stores in BC and in local restaurant cellars. Look for the winemakers offering samples of BC VQAs such as “Can’t Remember” in both red and white at local farmers markets, especially the Royal City Farmers' Market in New West.

Pacific Breeze Winery, Wine club, tasting room, private tasting, winery tours, wines (red, white, late harvest)
Welcome to Pacific Breeze Winery.
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