Wine lovers know that British Columbia is a treasure trove of fantastic vineyards, but that there is great wine coming from Abbotsford may mean the next wine tasting weekend venture is closer than you thought.
With three wineries all within very close proximity, veteran Mt. Lehman Winery, wave maker Singletree, and brand new Seaside Pearl are becoming known as the “Mt. Lehman Triangle” of wineries–perfect for a wine tasting adventure all in one area.
Where to try wine
Seaside Pearl is the newest kid on the block here, and their Farmgate Winery is situated amidst the picturesque rolling hills, and features a tasting room and retail space in a copper-spired chapel.
This estate winery is just getting off the ground, but they’ve turned to the region’s roots for inspiration in naming their wines. Look for a Fraser Gold Chardonnay, Landing Road Red Blend, Sam and Isaac Pinot Gris, and Daffodils Sparkling.
Address: 5290 Olund Road, Abbotsford, BC
With 12-acres of growing space on site, more further afield, and a partnership with OK Crush Pad in the Okanagan, Singletree has been making waves in the Abbotsford wine scene since they started planting in 2010. The husband and wife duo of Garnet and Debbie Etsell, along with son Andrew, are deeply connected to the area, and have long ties to agriculture–with wine now their family passion.
In the tasting room, don’t pass up the chance to try the stunning whites from the varietals they grow in Abbotsford. Singletree makes a lovely Siegerrebe (the 2015 really shows off how hot that summer was), and a 2016 Grüner Veltliner that is marvellously light with notes of pear. Their Rose is a perfect summer sipper–a little peach fuzz on the nose but a nice balance of sugar and crispness.
Address: 5782 Mt. Lehman Road, Abbotsford, BC
The founding corner of this new regional “triangle” of wineries, Mt. Lehman is also a family-run operation with a on-site tasting room and vineyards. The winery was initially a dairy farm, converted to growing grapes by owners Vern and Charleen Siemens in 1991.
Their “flagship” grape is the Pinot Noir, but Mt. Lehman’s award-winning portfolio includes multiple red and white blends featuring grapes grown in Abbotsford, as well as in partnership with Okanagan vineyards. The Three Amigos, for example, is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Foche, and Merlot, done in the tradition of France’s Loire Valley. Their 2015 Pinot Gris is an ideal white to pair with chicken or seafood, or sip on a sunny afternoon.
Address: 5094 Mt Lehman Road, Abbotsford, BC
Where to stay
Abbotsford’s accommodations tend to be focused on satisfying those who need easy airport access or who are in town on business, but there is a developing sector of boutique options, with one special standout.
This charming family-run Bed and Breakfast is situated in a new development that may potentially become a winery (hence street names like Chardonnay). It’s easy to have wine on the mind at Brookside Inn, where the hospitality runs deep, and the rooms pay tribute to beautiful cinematic escapes (ie Under the Tuscan Sun).
Spacious and well-appointed, you definitely get the at-home feel with the perks of being not at home while in the room, but with nice touches like a well-stocked dvd library in the hallway, welcome snacks, and a lovely on-site garden.
Breakfast is served in the communal kitchen, and showcases as much local product as possible, from the eggs to the herbs picked right at the property. Made and served by the very warm and welcoming Brookside owners, husband and wife team Chris and Sandi Buis, your morning meal is a great start to a day of exploring this part of the blossoming Fraser Valley, (or beyond, for the global visitors you may share your table with).
Address: 2379 Chardonnay Lane, Abbotsford