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Fort Berens Estate Winery

Rolf de Bruin
February 5, 2016 | Rolf de Bruin

PRESS RELEASE: Fort Berens Brings Home Two Prestigious Awards


November 3, 2015

LILLOOET, BC – The team at Fort Berens Estate Winery has won a variety of prestigious awards for their winemaking in recent years. After the recent Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association’s annual gala, they now have two additional awards to add to their honour wall. Fort Berens received two of the three prestigious awards handed out at the annual awards gala, namely the 2015 “Digital Marketing Excellence” Award and the 2015 “Outside the Box” Award.

Rolf de Bruin, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Berens explained, “We were deeply honoured to find out that we had been nominated for two awards through our regional tourism association, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association. When we found out at the gala that we won both awards, we were speechless. For our entire team, this is an incredible honour. Every person on our team contributes to our overall success, and on behalf of all of us, we say a special congratulations to our marketing and wine club team members including Kim Lawton, Victoria Harding and Marian De Gier and to all of our hospitality team members.”

Amy Thacker, CEO at the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, who presented the awards, had this to say, “We are pleased to present our partners at Fort Berens Estate Winery with both the 2015 Outside the Box and 2015 Digital Marketing Excellence awards. The team at Fort Berens consistently shines across their digital networks sharing content about not only the winery but the community of Lillooet and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Region. Their innovative Winemaker’s Bootcamp series is an example of experiential tourism that is leading the change in the travel industry.”

Kim Lawton, who helps with marketing and communications at Fort Berens, accepted the awards on behalf of the team at the annual gala. She explained, “We have worked very hard to build the value of the Fort Berens brand. It is our goal that wine lovers seek out the award winning wines from Fort Berens on the shelf at liquor stores, in restaurants and through our Discovery Club Wine Club. In everything that we do, from our social media to our website to our contests and newsletters, we aim to bring awareness and visitors not only to Fort Berens, but also to the beautiful Lillooet area and the entire Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.”

Rolf continued, “We are very strategic in our marketing goals and in the benefits we provide to our VIP wine club members. We designed the winery, the approach to our Discovery Club Wine Club, and our Bootcamp series in such a way that we could share with visitors our passion for making great wines and our passion for Lillooet. It’s important to us that our guests are left feeling like they are part of the discovery with us. We are thankful that wine lovers recognize and appreciate all that we put into the quality of our wines, our brand and the overall experience that our guests have with us. We are honoured to be recognized for that with these awards and we are grateful that the people in Lillooet, Whistler and throughout the region have pride in recommending us as their local winery.”

In addition to these two awards, Fort Berens also recently received a Gold Medal, Best in Class and Chairman’s Award for the 2013 Cabernet Franc at the 2015 Riverside International Wine Competition, a Gold Medal at the 2015 Los Angeles International Wine Competition for the 2013 Cabernet Franc, a Gold Medal for their 2013 Meritage at the 2015 Los Angeles International Wine Competition and their 2013 Pinot Noir was named in the Top 25 Wines at Whistler’s 2015 Cornucopia International Wine Competition.

Fort Berens Estate Winery is a culmination of the dreams, vision and pioneering spirit of several entrepreneurs – Heleen Pannekoek, Rolf de Bruin, Hugh Agro, Sean Harvey, Jason Neal, John McConnell, Dan Barnholden and Patrick Downey. The eight owners of Fort Berens share a common belief in the incredible winemaking potential of the area and a shared vision to make Fort Berens into one of Canada’s leading producers of fine wine. With its vineyards on sage brush covered benchland along the Fraser River at the base of towering mountains, Fort Berens embraces the spirit of Lillooet.

Alpine breezes, lingering summer sunlight and moderate winters provide a unique terroir ideal for growing premium grapes. Discover Fort Berens Estate Winery, Lillooet’s first winery, in BC’s newest wine region and explore 150 years of pioneering spirit. For more information, call 1.877.956.7768, visit, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

For further information, please contact:

Kim Lawton
DogLeg Marketing & Business Solutions


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