A hidden gem in Mount Lehman

Family owned treasure

Got the privilege to visit Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery. A small family-owned winery just over an hour’s drive from Vancouver.

I came to a winery characterised by enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment. But above all, filled with respect for the craft and the grapes. Few of the wines produced are blended; instead, each grape is allowed to shine and stand alone on the stage. In addition to the “usual” grapes such as Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, they also cultivate the for me new and interesting grape Cabernet Foch.

Carbonised surprise?

First up, however, is a carbonised Petit Verdot poured from an aluminium can. “Daffodils to Go” One can say that my expectations for this wine were not exactly sky-high. On the contrary, I mentally prepared myself for the usual mix of aggressive fizz and artificial flavours that is usually the case in such situations.

However, what meets me in the glass is a well-balanced, crisp and fresh wine with notes of red grapefruit, white roses and orange blossoms. The flavour is fresh with notes of peach, apricot, red apples and a fresh minerality. The carbonisation is just enough to create a fresh feeling, but no more than that. The perfect picnic wine! Both in taste and style, and admittedly, conveniently packaged in an aluminium can.

The sister wine, “Mangolias to Go” is also a carbonated wine. This time a Rosé. The flavours here are a little more full-bodied, but we still move among fresh fruits and floral notes. Raspberry, cranberry and a hint of strawberry. Also this wine is perfect in the picnic basket. Especially with various seafood.

Cabernet Foch

After having tried several of their other wines, I finally got to try the grape I was most curious about: Cabernet Foch. It is a relatively new grape variety, created by Valentin Blattner in Switzerland and is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Maréchal Foch . The special thing about Cabernet Foch is that it is a so-called Teinturier grape. That is, the flesh of the fruit is red, unlike “normal” grapes where the flesh, regardless of the colour of the skin, is uncoloured. This gives wine made from this grape a very deep and intense colour. Something that was noticeable not least on the rosé that I got a chance to try.

The aroma is rich, with notes of both leather, blueberries and tobacco. The flavour is also great, with prominent notes of blackberry, leather, green pepper and tomato. Long lovely aftertaste and soft tannins.  A perfect wine for Anti Pasti as well as turkey or why not wild boar?

The rose on the same grape showed fruity notes of blueberries, ripe raspberries and strawberries without being sweet, but had a dry, clear tone.

Quality and respect

My short little visit stretched out and I spent many interesting hours at this lovely little winery. As always, it is always extremely interesting to hear the thoughts behind and talk directly to the winemaker. Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery is a winery run with quality and respect for both nature and grapes. Rather than mass production, they want to create high quality wines with character and personality. Something that they, in my opinion, succeed very well with. It is well worth the trip to visit this little gem just outside Vancouver.

Maria Scharffenberg