Fort Berens

Our team is growing!

We are very pleased to welcome Vancouver-residents Dan Barnholden and Patrick Downey to our Ownership Team. Dan and Patrick have joined founders Rolf de Bruin and Heleen Pannekoek, along with early partners Hugh Agro, Sean Harvey, Jason Neal and John McConnell, to help fund our estate-grown grape production capacity and future business growth. With our new winery facility completed and a mature vineyard, we are looking forward to making exceptional estate wines in Lillooet. We are also working with a few farmers in Lillooet to plant some more vineyards and we’re starting to look at planting our second vineyard to increase our production. You can read more on our ownership team here.

Wine Cellaring:

People often ask us about the best way to store wine. Whether you have a large wine cellar or a simple wine rack, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

  • Wine will deteriorate quickly in direct sunlight, so try to store it in a cooler location out of the sun
  • Your wine storage should be free from vibration, so the top of your fridge is not a great location
  • It is ideal if you can store your wine in a location where the temperature fluctuations will be minimal. It can be anywhere between 6-18 degrees Celsius, but the key is to maintain a consistent temperature. With higher temperatures, it will age the wine quicker, while lower temperatures will stun the wine a bit
  • Don’t leave wine in your car in the hot sun or a cold-freeze

Click here to read our detailed blog on how to cellar your wine.

Speaking of wine cellars, what do our new owners Dan and Patrick have in their wine cellars? Dan has an interesting collection of wines in his cellar. He is particularly fond of collecting “off-the-beaten” track wines including some unique blends from Washington State. Dan recently celebrated a milestone birthday, so he depleted his wine cellar somewhat! He has a magnum of our Meritage, which holds a very special place in his cellar for a future milestone celebration!

Patrick also has an extensive wine cellar. He is a big fan of Bordeaux wines from France, Brunello wines from Italy and of course Fort Berens’ wines from Lillooet, particularly our Cabernet Franc, Meritage and White Gold. Patrick has a leap-year birthday, so he celebrates these birthdays with some very special wines from his cellar! 

Featured Wine:

We were very honoured that our Riesling made a couple of key “Best of” lists recently. It was named in the “Top 25 Icon Wines of 2014” and it was named in the “30 Best Okanagan Wines of 2014”. While our winery is not in the Okanagan, we are certainly pleased to be recognized alongside the other winners. Although we are sold out at the winery, there are still 29 BC Government Liquor stores with some 2013 Riesling left.

Winter Hours:

Until the end of April, we are open Thursday through Monday from 10 am to 4 pm or by appointment.

We wish you all the best for a great 2015 and we look forward to seeing you soon.


Rolf de Bruin




Read our latest blog on how to cellar your wine







1881 Highway 99 North, PO Box 758, Lillooet, British Columbia
tf: 1-877-956-7786 t: 250-256-7788 f: 250-256-7780

Copyright (C) 2013 Fort Berens Estate Winery Ltd. All rights reserved.

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