We do live in amazing times. It was only 40 years ago that nobody cared much about Canadian wines except for a few strong-willed pioneers. Today we think nothing of it when we hear of a new winery opening. They seem to pop up everywhere.
When I heard this summer a small winery had opened in Saanich of Vancouver Island near Victoria I thought little of. I marked them down on my list of wineries. Something I would look at in the winter months.
Perhaps I should have paid more attention to Parsell Vineyards. The new winery is owned by Tilar J. Mazzeo. She is a well known author turned winemaker.
Ms Mazzero is a New York Times bestselling author (with a post-graduate certificate in winemaking from the University of California at Davis) whose early career was as a nationally recognized wine writer in the US. Her husband is a fourth-generation Vancouver Island native and farmer. The Parsell family came to Saanich in the 1880s and grew fruit for the first winemaking industry to develop on the island in the 1920s, and Parsell Vineyard is our take on a new generation of that old family business.
Mazzeo's work as a wine writer has appeared in numerous national outlets in the United States, including Food and Wine magazine, Mental Floss, and in the wine guides of which she is the author The Back Lane Wineries of Napa and The Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma (Ten Speed Press). She is the proprietor and winemaker at Parsell Vineyard in British Columbia.
Mazzeo has held previous teaching appointments at the University of Wisconsin, Oregon State University, and the University of Washington. She was the Jenny McKeon Moore Writer in Residence in the Creative Writing and English program at the George Washington University from 2010-2011. She was the Washington Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge, UK in the late 1990s. She is the editor of digital scholarly editions at Romantic Circles and has been featured as a preeminent teacher of creative nonfiction with the Teaching Company / Great Courses.
Her book The Widow Clicquot, a biography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the eponymous founder of the champagne house Veuve Clicquot was published in 2008 by Harper Collins. It became a New York Times bestseller. A film adaption of the book was announced by Variety to be directed by Taylor Hackford. 
In 2007 she released her book Plagiarism and Literary Property in the Romantic Period which was reviewed in the New York Times.
In 2014 Mazzeo's book, The Hotel on Place Vendôme, the story of the Ritz Hotel in Paris during Nazi occupation, was released. It became a New York Times bestseller in travel writing and was a Los Angeles Times bestseller for more than 20 weeks.
In 2016 Mazzeo published Irena's Children, the story of Polish social worker Irena Sendler, whose efforts prevented the death of thousands of Jewish children during WWII
In 2016, Publisher's Weekly announced that Mazzeo is completing a forthcoming biography of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of Alexander Hamilton.
The farm 4 acres of vineyard at their home and tasting room with another 3 acres of small vineyards in the local area. Their main varietals are Gamay Noir a Jus Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Ortega. They have a small production of Marechal Foch. They also have small plantings in Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Auxerrois that are part of their blending program for their sparkling wine production (about 50% of our production). The sparkling wines are made in the ancestral method. They have small productions of orange wine, Sangria, and vermouth.
signature wines: ancestral method sparkling wines and Gamay Noir.
They are the first winery in BC to be approved to sell our wine in reusable bottles.
If Ms Mazzeo is as good a winemaker as she is an author the BC wine industry will be very lucky.