1977 – Funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, John Harper, a pioneering island viticulturist, planted an experimental vineyard. The site was used for three years as a test site for 130 to 150 different types of grape vines.
1984-85 – Grape growing in the Okanagan took off and interest levels rose across BC.
1988 – Dr. Hans Kiltz and his wife Evangeline purchased the farm for their family and discovered the experimental vines from a decade earlier. They had no idea what lay ahead…
1989 – The Kiltz family removed many of the dead vines and rejuvenated what they could. Hans made the ultimate varietal selection based on what would ripen in the Cowichan Valley climate. The grapes were harvested and sold to home winemakers as commercial wine making in Canada was still in its infancy.
1990s – Hans began making his own wine under the sundeck of his house.
1992 – In the same week, Cowichan Valley-based Blue Grouse and Zanatta both received liquor licenses to operate a retail store and started selling their wines to the public.
1993 – The Blue Grouse wine shop and tasting room opened.
1994 - Plantings were expanded. Hans imported more vines from France, which were the last vines imported into Canada before the Canadian government put in restrictions.
2000 – After purchasing a new 2000L stainless steel tank Hans moved the operation from his basement into a modern facility on the property and continued to make, bottle and sell Blue Grouse wines.
2012 – The Brunner family fell in love with Cowichan Valley and Blue Grouse Estate, deciding to make it home.