It’s only been recently I started drinking wine and whilst on a trip to one of my favourite regions in the world, British Columbia, Canada, I had the chance to experience not just my very first winery, but four and all located in and near the Fraser Valley and can all be done as a day trip from Vancouver. The first of the Fraser Valley Wineries I checked out was Singletree Winery in Mt. Lehman near Abbotsford, a short drive from where I was staying in Mission which lies on the Fraser River.
I tasted six different types of wine on my visit. The first one was the 2018 Pinot Gris, 12.5% alcohol and had the aroma of citrus and honeysuckle. A bit of a fruity feel to the wine but enjoyed this one greatly. Secondly, probably my least favourite as I am not a fan of them, is the 2018 Rosé, 11% alcohol. Produced with fresh strawberries and grapefruit, I could taste a tropical feel in my throat during the aftertaste. The third one was the 2017 Grüner Veltliner which has been awarded the winner of the 2018 National Wine Awards of Canada and is a double gold winner at the ACWC. This refreshing white wine sure did have a hint of peach, honey and citrus, a very smooth taste and very well rounded. 11% in alcohol, this one is probably the best wine I have had in recent years. The other three products I tried was Victory (a white wine), a Savignon Blanc and a wine known as Sieggie. Really did enjoy doing my first wine tasting here, the girl behind the counter who was giving me the talk knew her stuff and I love the feel of the wine tasting room, the decor, the calmness to the place.
Location: 5782 Mt. Lehman Road, Abbotsford, BC, V4X 1V4 – Website here
The second place I checked out on the Fraser Valley Wineries list was Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery which is not too far away from Singletree Winery. Surrounded by trees, flowers and rolling fields with a great view of the surrounding mountains on the horizon, I felt the beauty of the area. It was peaceful. I could easily sit on the patio here, drinking wine with a good book in the summer months and looking at the view.
The tasting room is located in a building which reminded me of a small Italian chapel which I saw on the Orkney Islands, UK (but with more grey than white on the facade).
Inside the tasting room had a vintage charm about the place and felt very cozy. Here I got to experience several wines such as the Red Blend, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir to name a few. Whilst the lady behind the bar was pouring out the wine, I asked her why the names of the wine had unique titles for them. She explained that there is a story behind every bottle of wine and the name behind them. The names were inspired by Mount Lehman’s history as well the pioneering spirit which combines the peaceful ambience and beauty of the area. Their were names like Landing Road, Lover’s Lane, the Interurban Cabernet Foch (my favourite name which was named after a locomotive which ran on the historic Vancouver to Chilliwack), and Florence (a local woman who lived in the area). I found it really cute to combine names to the wines.
Location: 5290 Olund Rd, Abbotsford, BC Website here
The third one I visited on the Fraser Valley Wineries list was the Chaberton Estate Winery near Langley. The vineyard here is the oldest and largest in the Fraser Valley, covering over fifty acres. What makes growing wine here unique that their seems to be a small micro-climate here to which the area receives 30% less rain than Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond. Because of this, grape growing is ideal.
The winery started in 1981 but opened up for retail a decade later, which started off by producing the cool-climate German wines. Since the owners retired and sold on, the vineyard produces over twenty different types of wine with all the grapes coming from the Fraser, Okanagan, Similkameen valleys of British Columbia.
Out of all the wines I tried here, the 2017 Chaberton White was my favourite. It’s a dry wine, a bit crispy with the aroma of citrus, this wine brings out the apple, lemon and gooseberry once sipped from the glass.
However it wasn’t just the wine tasting I came here for, I was also here for dinner at the Bacchus Bistro which is located next to the wine tasting building. With a view of the vineyard (if sitting outdoors like I was), on a warm summer’s evening, I had one of the finest dining experiences in Canada. With fantastic service, plenty of wine on offer and freshly cooked food, I was going to have an evening to remember with friends.
Location: 1064 – 216 Street, Langley, BC V2Z 1R3 Website here
Last of the Fraser Valley Wineries I visited was at Kermode Wild Berry Winery which is located in Dewdney. The winery here started off with an idea to make wine only from berries that grow in the wild. The guy behind it all, Fritz Sprieszl believed that their are thirty different types of berries in British Columbia. So Fritz and his brother Bob tried his idea and so far produced quite a lot of quality wines from the berries. When I went to do a wine tasting here, I was trying different types of berry wines left, right and centre but my favourite has to be the ‘Glacier Bear – Strawberry wine’. I could taste the blend of strawberries and grapes in this one.
Location: 8457 River Road South, Dewdney, British Columbia, V0M-1H0
What I also loved about all these Fraser Valley Wineries is that there is a charge for the wine tasting. I love it? But why? Well, when you actually buy some of the wine from the wine tasting rooms, they wafer the charge. I enjoyed wines from all these wineries that I took some home with me. At the time of visiting, wine produced here couldn’t be exported to other countries around the world (or even the province next door!) but I am hoping that laws will change on this soon. I really did enjoy sampling Canadian wine and hope to have more on my dinner table at home in the UK very soon.
Please note that while I was not working with any of the wineries on this blog post and was paid for all by myself. My review and experiences written about in this post are 100% genuine. I value my readers too much to lie to you. My blog would be nothing without you and your continued support!