Robert Bell's

Wines of Canada

Since 1992


The Fraser Valley

The Growth

A new winery has opened in the Mt. Lehman region of Abbotsford in the heart of the Fraser Valley. It was late in the year (October 2022) when Cannon Estate Winery opened their doors. They join three other successful wineries in the region - Seaside Pearl, Mt. Lehman, and Singletree.

All four can be reached by heading north on Mt. Lehman Road. Mt. Lehman Road is located on the west side of the fast-growing city of Abbotsford. The wineries are located in what is still considered horse country. All the wineries have lovely country-side setting. Abbotsford, with an estimated population of 153,824 people, is located in British Columbia, adjacent to the Canada/United States border, Greater Vancouver and the Fraser River. The city is 79 kms east of Vancouver.

The Fraser Valley is actually home to 21 wineries outside the Metropolitan area of Vancouver. Fourteen more wineries are located in the urban regions.
The first winery to open in the Fraser Valley was Domaine de Chaberton (Langley Township), which opened in 1975 by founders Claude and Inge Violet. This very successful winery was named after the vineyard they had owned in France. The Fraser Valley location was selected for its proximity to Vancouver, the microclimate, south facing slope, and quality of soil and low rain fall. The winery was sold in 2005 to business partners Anthony Cheng and Eugene Kwan. In 2014, the name was changed to Chaberton Estate Winery.

The 55-acre parcel of land produces a selection of Vitis vinifera “cool climate” grapes, including their signature wine grape "Bacchus." The first vines planted, these Bacchus plants are now over 30 years old! Joining them are: Siegerrebe, Madeleine Sylvaner, Reichensteiner, Madeleine Angevine, Ortega and Gamay Noir.

Nearby is Vista D'oro Farm, a small winery owned by Lee and Patrick Murphy that opened in 2007.

Township 7 Vineyards
Township 7

The South Langley countryside is also home to the rapidly gowning winery that goes by the name of Township 7 Vineyards and Winery. The winery was originally opened in 1999 with a five-acre piece of property in Langley Township which today houses a tasting room and vineyards. A few years later, having achieved success, they opened a second location in Naramata. (2001).

Directly across the street is a very good Meadery Festina Lente Estate Winery Ltd. In the same area, cider is represented by Fraser Valley Cidery Company. Both are owned and operated by women Teresa Townsley at Festina Lente, and Rachel Bolongaro at Fraser Valley. Going back to the Abbotsford region on the South side, you can find Mann Farms Winery, Taves Estate Cidery and Campbell's Gold Honey Farm.

Glass House Estate Winery, opened in March 2017, is very impressive from its style to decor, to its hospitality to its wines. The owners are Arthur and Ingrid de Jong who immigrated from Netherlands in 1983 along with their three daughters. They gave themselves six months to establish a life in Canada, which they successfully did. They are the most southern winery located at 23449 0 Avenue.

In Langley Township, Ontario has its influence in the valley. The popular Backyard Vineyard is owned by Lakeview Wines of Ontario. Blackwood Lane Vineyards & Winery, located south of Aldergrove, was the dream of Carlos Lee. The goal was simple - to produce wines that lived up to their high standards and expectations. Their philosophy is summarized in the Company's motto: “Bonus Vita et Bonus Amici” (Good Life and Good Friends).

Going farther east in the valley we find Ripples Estate Winery. The winery was devasted in the Abbotsford floods but has made a strong comeback.

Across the mighty Fraser River from Abbotsford in Pitt Meadows is Blue Heron Fruit Winery. George and Ragna Flynn started farming the property in 1946 and opened the winery in 2003 at the age of 84. The name comes from the large number of Blue Herons found in the area. A second winery in Pitt Meadows is Chateau Blue Winery.

Farther east in Chilliwack we have St. Urban Winery and Whispering Horse Winery. St Urban is owned by the Kompauers family. Their production is limited. Whispering Horse is owned by Barry & Shirley Giesbrecht, and Laurent & Melissa Fadanni. The first release was October 2017. They will specialize in sparkling wine using L'Acadie grapes. They are an up-and-coming winery already winning awards at Canada's top wine events..

Cannon Estate Winery
Cannon Estate Winery

The entire Valley has made great strives in recent years producing high quality wines. Additional wineries will be opening soon.

Fraser Valley Wineries

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