Richmond farm enters winemaking business

Richmond’s first farm-based winery, complete with a tasting room and store, is scheduled to open Saturday, adding a new wrinkle to the city’s agricultural offerings.

Sanduz Estate Wines, owned by Dave and Neeta Sandhu and located at 12791 Blundell Road, is in the heart of one of B.C.’s richest agricultural zones.

The Sandhus say they’re banking on scores of urban wine lovers making the short trip to their Richmond winery to experience home-grown wines firsthand. Other products offered for sale include wine jellies, wine syrups, honey and
other wine-related items.

“We’ve had an excellent response,” Neeta Sandhu said of their wine business, which started operating about a month ago as a way to diversify their blueberry and cranberry sales. “We farm over 100 acres and this winery is a diversified venture of our farm.”

While an assortment of wines will be offered for sale at the winery, for now only blueberry and cranberry wines are produced from fruit grown at the Richmond farm.

The Sandhus plan to start growing grapes for wine next year.

“We will initially sell out of our stores, but we’ve also had interest from restaurants and beer and wine stores,” said Sandhu in an interview. We’re also looking to export. But at this point, we’re not thinking about selling in [B.C.] liquor stores. ”

Sandhu said they’re now producing more than 3,000 cases of wine and hope to increase that to 10,000 cases next year.

She said Sanduz Estate Wines is the only winery in Richmond where the wine is produced from fruit grown on the same farm.

She said there are similar wineries in Langley and south Delta, but none as close to the city as theirs.

“We’re close by to downtown Vancouver. It’s the proximity and the range of fruit wines.”

Other wines offered for sale will be blackberry, pinot noir, strawberry and peach.

She said the Richmond climate is ideal for growing fruit and berries used in their wines.

Lisa Cameron, communications manager for the B.C. Wine Institute, which markets on behalf of 53
of B.C.’s 119 wineries, said she doesn’t know of any other farm-based operations in Richmond