Local wineries bring home the gold

Monte Creek and Privato win places in the BC Wine Country awards

Summer time isn’t the only time to enjoy award-winning wines from the Thompson-Okanagan, like Fort Berens’ riesling and rosé. (Robert Wisla/The Omega)

Fort Berens, Monte Creek and Privato Vineyard and winery are among the best places enjoy a nice glass of Riesling and Rosé according to The Best of BC Wine Country Awards. The awards which were picked through an online crowdsourced survey curated by the BC Wine Institute, invited the public to vote on their favourite B.C. wine experiences from a variety of “Best of” categories: Best of BC Wine; Best of BC Place; Best of BC Experience.

Wine lovers voted for their favourites in each of the various B.C. wine regions, including the Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Vancouver Island, Gulf Island, Fraser Valley and the new appellations (Thompson Valley, Lillooet, Shuswap and Kootenays).

As voted on by the public, the Best of BC Wine Country 2018 included the following regional awards for Fort Berens, Privato and Monte Creek.

• Fort Berens Estate Winery Riesling – Best BC White Wine (2017 Riesling)

• Fort Berens Estate Winery Rosé – Best BC Rosé Wine (2017 Rosé)

• Fort Berens Estate Winery – Best BC Winery Tasting Room

• The Kitchen at Fort Berens – Best BC Winery Restaurant Showcasing Local Food

• Monte Creek Ranch Winery – Best BC Sparkling (2017 Sparkling)

• Monte Creek Ranch Winery – Best BC Winery Tour

• Monte Creek Ranch Winery – Best BC View

• Privato Vineyard & Winery – Best BC Red (2012 Reserve Pinot Noir)

• Privato Vineyard & Winery –Best BC Winery Pet – Jenny the Black English Lab

• Privato Vineyard & Winery – Best BC Special Events

Rolf de Bruin, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Berens explained the importance of the awards.

“We were absolutely delighted to find out that we won these four Best of BC Wine Country Awards. To have the support of our community vote for us means so much to our entire team,” he said. “These awards show that we are meeting our goals of producing outstanding quality wine from Lillooet, providing an outstanding experience to our guests in the tasting room and showcasing the incredible local food in our restaurant, The Kitchen at Fort Berens. As the first winery in Lillooet, we are so honoured to be able to showcase our emerging and growing wine region.”

“The results show authentic recommendations from the public on what to do and where to go for the best wine touring experiences throughout B.C.’s diverse wine regions and we are thrilled to share their choices,” noted Maggie Anderson, director of communications and content of the BC Wine Institute.

Ashley Demedeiros with Monte Creek Winery also expressed her happiness in winning an award.

“We are extremely proud of our team for winning several awards this year at the Best of BC Wine Awards which include Best BC Sparkling, Best BC Winery Tour and Best BC View in the Thompson Valley,” Demedeiros said. “A lot of hard work goes into our winemaking program and our tour program. It is just wonderful to see that guests appreciate our dedication to quality.”