What started out as a dream many years ago for Vern Siemens, has now progressed into a three acre vineyard planted with more than 50 different varietals in 1991; morphing into a boutique winery in 2009.
Mt. Lehman Winery currently has 17 acres planted to a variety of grapes, including Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
In elementary school, Siemens experimented with making “drinks.” He claimed dandelion wine was water and sugar boiled with dandelions thrown into it that you could actually consume.
He has come a long way since experimenting with flowers and sugar, and now crafts wines that are much different; crafted for ‘force’ or ‘power,’ but rather drinkability. Due to the lower alcohol content, these wines will tempt you into taking more than just one sip!
While growth in production is in this wineries’ future, they make no mistake in remaining a “family” winery, dedicated to sustaining growing methods and minimal intervention in the winemaking process.
Now, how do their wines compare to others? Besides winning numerous awards, including the prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence – Vern let me get a taste for myself.
This is a seamless Estate blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Viognier, Epicure and Riesling with a fresh, crisp citrusy appeal. Pairing really well with raw oysters, seafood, and white meat dishes. Vern calls this choice “grandmothers Kool-Aid” due to its sweet nature.
A little bit on the pricier side, this wine spent 14 months in a combination of new and used French Oak barrels, which really helps preserve the red and black fruits, making the taste really flavorful and interesting. It is not overly heavy or awkward, but definitely has that plumy undertone. This choice is especially food friendly because of the acidity level and how it leaves your palette feeling clean. The merlot is definitely my choice of the bunch!
This particular wine has not yet been released for the public to purchase, so I was lucky enough to sneak a taste. The alcohol level in this particular wine is quite low compared to the other, due to its aging process. It is cold stabilized, meaning no chemicals are added and its flavors naturally fall out. The undertones of this wine have notes of pear and spice. Again this also pairs well with white meat and fish. I would definitely have this as my go-to summer wine.
If you love a white wine on the sweeter side, this is by far your perfect choice. The Gewurzt. is very fresh and light, making it especially easy to drink and the floral notes that come from this wine are mesmerizing. Your fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) that Abbotsford is also known for pair very well with this wine, including any sort of dessert or holiday food.
Anyone who knows wine knows that the Pinot Noir is one of the best in the world, and it just keeps getting better the more you drink. This blend is extremely elegant, as Vern calls it “the woman in the long gown”. The Noir has hints of blackberry and black cherry that give it a really creamy finish. Pricey yes, but this wine is one that just keeps getting better with age. It is recommended to go along side a nice piece of salmon or other kind of fish.
Where: 5094 Mt. Lehman Road, Abbotsford (just 3 km north of the freeway – Abbotsford Airport exit)
When: Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
More information: mtlehmanwinery.com
Written by Samantha Lenz. Connect with her on Twitter at @SamanthaLenz.
Feature image: www.pickywallpapers.com