A look back into our past

It all started in Thuir, great great great grandfather Simon, with his brother Pallade, started the aperatif Byrrh.

This led to 6 generations of winemakers spanning from Europe to North America, from spirits to wine and everything in between. Now it lies with the last generation of Violets to bring it back. This led to the creation of Ve Oh Lay Acres!

popular advertising done by Byrrh

1866 - Byrrh First Generation

Brothers Pallade and Simon Violet in Thuir, France develop an apéritif wine known as Byrrh. This was a wine aperitif made of red wine, mistille and quinine.


train network in Byrrh

1867 - Gustave Eiffel

As the business grows, the family decides to hire Gustave Eiffel, the french civil engineer responsible for the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty, to design a railway network for their factory in Thuir.

1892 - Second Generation

Simon Violet had passed but his son, Lambert, continues on building the business. Adding 70 oak vats with a combined storage of over 15 million litres, the largest in the world at this time.

1910 - Wine Sales

Byrrh has more then 750 employees and distributes over 30 million litres annually

1920 - Third Generation

Lambert later passes in 1914, leaving the company to his wife Mary and his children, Jacques and Simone. They took over the business in 1920 and continued to grow it, once again, to the largest cellar in the world. This included the construction of 3 concrete tanks that had a storage capacity of 680,000 litres.

1934 - The World's Largest Wine Vat

1,000,200 litres made of ancient oak. For fear of invasion in WWII, this wood was actually buried to hide it. After the war, construction began and still to this day, holds the record for largest wine vat. Construction completed in 1951, measuring 12 metres at its base and 10 metres height.

1976 - Sale of Byrrh

The Byrrh brand was sold and acquired by the Pernod-Ricard Group

1982 - Fourth Generation

Claude, the son of Jacques Violet, along with his wife, Inge, sell their vineyard in France and jump across the pond to the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. Here is where they started the first Fraser Valley Winery, known today as Chaberton Estate Winery. Starting from 3000 cases in the early 90s, Chaberton Estate Winery now produces over 50,000 cases.

2006 - Sale of Chaberton

Claude and Inge decided to sell the winery to local businessmen, Anthony and Eugene, who currently run the winery.

2016 - Introduction to Wine

Maddison is hired as a tasting room associate at Chaberton Estate Winery who quickly made her way into the vineyard and working her first wine harvest. Shortly after that, she pursued winemaking jobs in New Zealand, Australia and California.

Future 50 Under 40

While in Australia, Maddi was awarded IWSC’s Future 50 under 40 for wine. With over 600 nominations across 14 countries, she was the only Canadian to receive the award for wine!

2019 - Love in Grapes

Maddi pursued another harvest at Chaberton Estate winery. This was the same year, Laurent, grandson of Claude and Igne, worked a harvest at Chaberton Estate. This was the start of a great friendship turned romance.

2021 - Building a Winery

After searching all over British Columbia for a property, they found a cozy 11 acres in Summerland. From here they have spent their time resculpting, replanting and reviving the farm land. They have planted a vineyard, maintain an apple orchard and it’s home to over 200 farm animals.

Becoming Mrs Violet

With a pandemic in tow, the two solidified their relationship marrying in June of 2021.

2023 - 6th Generation

The revival of the Violet legacy lays in the hands of Laurent and Maddison Violet.

This is the start of Ve Oh Lay Acres (get it? the spelling? It’s their name)

This is the first year of operations opening up a honey winery and petting farm. Putting a little spin on traditional winemaking, they look forward to bringing a fun, personality forward line of wines that this industry here hasn’t seen.


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