We've made the hard decision here to close our winery at Parsell Vineyard as a COVID casualty. We're sorry that we couldn't make it through this tough time. But the bottom line is that our sales have gone down with the collapse of tourism on the island and our farming costs have gone up. The law in BC requires us to continue producing wine at volumes that don't give us scope to trim costs during this period and at volumes that we don't have the labour to manage. We reached out to the province for regulatory relief, and we left that encounter feeling that the current government does not have any interest even in hearing about the concerns of small farm businesses.
We're really pleased to say that we're going to be able to keep our estate vineyards on Lamont Road and on Mt. Newton Cross Road. We've passed these over to another local island winemaker who is committed to regenerative farming, and we'll continue to work together to grow these magical places that we believe have the potential to produce world-class sparkling wines. We always got into this for the farming and because we believed in regenerative farming especially, and we get to keep that as a family, which is the thing that really has mattered to us. Making the decision to close the winery now lets us be confident we can keep the land for the next generation. We're also going to be focusing now on growing the farm in other directions. We've been able to share some of our market garden land with another local young farmer for vegetable production, we've added Ossabaw Island Hogs alongside our growing flock of Black Welsh Mountain sheep, and we've started planting new gardens, so keep an eye out at Bannockburn Farm on Mt. Newton Cross Road for a coming farm stand and some garden events at the heritage house.
On the winery wind-down side, we've heard this week that Moss Street Market has had to cancel the holiday market in December, and our license with the province expires March 31, 2021, unless the province decides to put us out of business sooner. That means that we'll be at Moss Street Market only through the end of October, when the summer season ends. We will take growler returns at the market this month and through curbside drop off at Mt. Newton (email for address and logistics) through March 31st.
We will continue curbside wine sales and free local delivery through March 31st as well (again, province permitting). Delivery locally is free and there's no minimum.
We also need to sell our wine in the cellars, or come March 29th we will need to destroy it. We don't have a ton of wine left, but we have a few cases left of most everything, and we're offering, from now until we run out, cases (12 bottles, 750 ML) for $150. We're happy to do mixed cases.
A huge thanks to everyone who has supported us in the past five years. The wine has been a labour of love for us, and we're loved sharing it with so many of you. Safe travels, and we hope to see you at Bannockburn Farm when we've refocused.
Tilar and Rob