The Fraser Valley is quickly gaining popularity as a top wine region in Canada. It’s long been an agriculture area and it’s close proximity to Vancouver ensure easy access. There are a variety of wineries, vineyards, cideries and breweries to explore, only 1-2 hours from the city. In terms of viticulture, this area produces cool climate varieties, with a strong German, Austrian and Swiss influence, and some interesting cross-varieties doing particularly well in this valley.
There is a mix of small, family-run wineries as well as a few larger producers with sister locations in the Okanagan, mainly for supplying reds. There is an assortment of interesting varieties such as Siegerrebe, Zweigelt, Bacchus and Cabernet Libre making this a really fun area to explore and taste. Many of the tasting rooms offer inexpensive samples, and have a laid back atmosphere. There is also a lot of farm-to-table focused food offerings, and some weekend entertainment.
Here are some great to wine tour in Fraser Valley:
A family-owned Seaside Pearl Winery is located just outside Abbortsford, in the picturesque Mount Lehman area. The owners are a lovely couple who Focus on crafting a wide selection of quality wines. The winery has a beautiful chapel style tasting room and a fantastic summer patio. Try samples which range from light, fresh sparkling wines, to full-bodied reds, as well as grapes that are special in the Fraser Valley such as Petit Milo. Its possible to arrange group tastings and barrel tastings in advance, and drop ins are welcome for small groups.
Mount Leman is a boutique winery is located just outside Abbotsford, and offer tastings of a selection of fantastic wines as well as winery tours. They offer a 45 minute tour of their farm to learn about viticulture and their grape varieties, which also takes you through the barrel room and includes 4 tastings. Make sure the try their Cabernet Libre, a unique Swiss grape that presents as a lighter version of Cabernet Sauvignon – delicious as a summer BBQ wine. Or their Ehrenfelser, a bright German white with stone fruit flavours.
Fraser Valley Cider Company
The Fraser Valley Cider Company is a Langley area cider company that traditional techniques to craft delicious cider from local BC apples. Stop in for a flight of samples and for snacks on their sunny patio. The cider has a nice, laid back atmosphere and a really great selection of ciders; like classic British scrumpy, ginger apple, elderflower apple and other unique seasonal releases.
The Chamberton Estate is an elegant estate winery started back in 1981 and originally focused on cool variety German wines. They have since grown into an entirely VQA winery, using both estate-grown and grapes from the Okanagan, and offer over 20 types of wine. Make sure to try their staple, the estate-grown Baccus; a bright, refreshing white with stone fruit flavours.
Township 7 is a popular winery located in Langley and in the Naramata Bench in Penticton and produces a great selection of award-winning wines. Their friendly staff were very knowledgeable and made it a welcoming and fun tasting experience. Try a tasting their various Chardonnays for a chance to understand how different amounts of oak represent in the wine. They also host a variety of events throughout the summer months, like dinners, wine and food pairings and art events.
The Fraser Valley is a fantastic hidden gem in the wine world that deserves more recognition. I am glad to see it growing in popularity and starting to develop its own signature wines.