On a very beautiful June 2021 afternoon the intrepid four, Barbara, Jane, Ken and I set out to the Mt Lehman region of Abbotsford for wine tasting at Singletree Winery. The winery and vineyards are located on a 67 acre farm, 45 minutes from Vancouver.
Garnet and Debbie Etsell had established a successful farming business in the valley; as their family grew and matured they realized their turkey farm was not going sustain their sons' growing families. The solution, start a winery. The vineyard was first established in 2010, success would definitely follow.
Andrew Etsell went off to the University of California Davis to become certified as a winemaker in 2013; he also completed a apprenticeship at Mission Hill Winery in Kelowna. Andrew produced some top quality wines in Abbotsford which led to the establishment of a second location on the Naramata Bench.
Our starting point was White Rock; we drove the country roads to reach the winery, we recommend avoiding Highway 1 and enjoy the Fraser Valley's magnificent country side. When we arrived we noticed quite a few cars, and thought perhaps our appointment might have to be pushed back. However, no sooner had I poked my head in the door than I heard the cheerful voice of Debbie greeting us.
Our purpose today was to sample Singletree's new releases. Debbie also provided a tour of their picnic area and the new all-weather Di Vine Domes. Beautifully outfitted and Covid protected they offer all-season comfort. Reservations are required.
We were fortunate to have Debbie guide us through the tasting experience. There is no doubt the winery has an excellent cellar of white wines.
We started with the Farmhand 2020 a wonderful blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. It provides notes of citrus fruit highlighted by grapefruit, with a nice lingering finish.
Next came the Homestead 2020 a lovely white blend of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. It started strong with numerous citrus notes and hints of peach. Debbie suggested it has notes of crushed gravel; which is a new term to me. We brought a bottle home to see if we could experience the crushed grave.
We were then served the Pinot Gris, excellent; it had all the flavours one would wish for in a Pinot Gris.
This was followed by the 2020 Grüner Veltliner. One of BC's rarer wines, producing smooth fruit flavours of lime, lemon and grapefruit. A must buy wine!
The 2020 Viognier was a nice surprise. A bit sweeter than most, however provided excellent citrus flavours. There were strong hints of peaches and tangerine. The finish was exceptionally good.
We were introduced to Siggy their flagship wine. We have enjoyed numerous bottles of the wine from previous vintages; this years' did not disappoint! The wine is made from Siegerrebe grapes, the flavours remind one of an orchard of peaches and apples. Wow, this one sells for under $18.00!
Debbie then brought out their Rosé. Rosé is not by any means, one of my favourite wines, but I must admit this one was pretty good. If you are a Rose fan do not pass this one by!
For those of you who enjoy reds try the Singletree Merlot. It has an excellent aroma; Ken was impressed. This wine does excite the taste buds.
We had a most enjoyable time catching up with Debbie and sampling their excellent new releases.
A singletree or singletree is a wooden or metal bar used to balance the pull of a draught horse or other draught animal when pulling a vehicle.
The Mt Lehman region is currently home to three wineries. Mt Lehman, Seaside Pear,l and Singletree. Two more are in the process of opening.
Fraser Valley Wineries