Rolf de Bruin
March 30, 2015 | Press release | Rolf de Bruin

100% Lillooet at Fort Berens Estate Winery

March 30, 2015

For immediate release

LILLOOET, BC – This week, Fort Berens Estate Winery in Lillooet is releasing their 2015 spring line-up which includes their 2014 Pinot Gris, 2014 Riesling, 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé, 2014 23 Camels White and 2013 White Gold. Rolf de Bruin, founder and one of the owners of Fort Berens explained, “We are thrilled to announce that for the first time in our history, every single wine in our spring release is 100% Lillooet: 100% estate-grown, 100% produced on our own onsite facility and 100% bottled in Lillooet.”

Rolf continued, “These five new releases join our other 100% estate-grown whites, including our 2013 Chardonnay and our 2013 Late Harvest Riesling. These will be followed later this spring with the release of our 2014 Chardonnay and 2014 Late Harvest Riesling, which are also 100% Lillooet. We can’t even begin to express how much pride we feel now that our entire white wine list is 100% Lillooet.”

To commemorate this new milestone, Fort Berens will be running a 100% Lillooet contest from April 17th through to May 31st. Rolf explained, “When we realized that all of our white wines would be 100% Lillooet, we decided this milestone deserved to be celebrated! We will be giving away an exclusive Fort Berens prize package valued at over $1000 plus weekly prizes throughout the 6-week contest. The grand prize includes a one-year membership in our Discovery Club Wine Club and a private multi-course, wine-paired dinner for four people in our wine cellar with our winemaker. In addition, we’ll be doing a random draw each Friday for a Fort Berens prize package.” For your chance to win, enter the contest at or on the Fort Berens Facebook page between April 17th and May 31st.

As Lillooet’s first winery, in the heart of this emerging wine region, it’s important to the team at Fort Berens that they focus on producing wines that showcase Lillooet. Heleen Pannekoek, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Berens continued, ”Last year we won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines for our 2012 Riesling. Winning this prestigious award for a wine made with 100% estate-grown grapes really proved that not only could we grow grapes in Lillooet, but that we could grow premium-quality grapes here. Now that we have our new winery built, a maturing vineyard, and our full vineyard and winemaking team in place, our focus has turned to truly understanding what we can produce with grapes grown in Lillooet. Our intention is to keep improving the quality of our wines and continuing to express the distinct flavours of Lillooet.”

Heleen summarized, “Releasing our new vintages and showcasing 100% Lillooet is a major milestone for our team.  In addition to that, we are absolutely thrilled with how our new releases are tasting. Our vineyard is in great shape going into the key growing period and we have exciting plans coming up for the upcoming season.”

While 2014 may have been a major milestone year for the team at Fort Berens Estate Winery, all indicators point to another banner year in 2015.

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 sagebrush-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.

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High resolution images and technical data sheets are available at

For further information, please contact:

Kim Lawton
DogLeg Marketing & Business Solutions


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