Rolf de Bruin
July 14, 2016 | Rolf de Bruin

PRESS RELEASE: Fort Berens Estate Winery A Golden Lineup


July 14, 2016

LILLOOET, BC – Things have turned golden for Lillooet-based Fort Berens Estate Winery. With the recent release of the results from the 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition, all of the signature wines from Fort Berens have now been awarded gold medals.

Rolf de Bruin, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Berens explained, “With the announcement of these most recent awards, all of our signature wines, including our Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Meritage, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir have won a gold medal from a major regional, national or international wine competition.”

Growing grapes and producing award-winning wines have caught many by surprise in a region better known for cowboys and gold mining. Rolf continued, “While it is still a surprise to many, we’ve known for some time that we can grow grapes in Lillooet. We’ve been growing grapes in our vineyard here in Lillooet since 2009 and our viticulture and winemaking teams are passionately handcrafting wines that reflect our Lillooet terroir. In 2014, we won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC Wines for our estate-grown Riesling, so we knew the area was well suited for Riesling. Winning a gold medal for all of our signature wines shows that all of the varieties of grapes we grow in Lillooet are performing well and that we can handcraft gold medal wines of distinction that reflect the unique characteristics of our Lillooet terroir.”

While early pioneers to Lillooet panned for gold, today’s new batch of pioneers have re-discovered the bounty of the land in Lillooet in the discovery of treasures for the new millennium. Rolf explained, “While we know that the alpine breezes, hot days and lingering summer sunlight in Lillooet are perfect for growing premium grapes, it’s also really exciting to see a new crop of pioneers that are discovering other bounties of our rich land with the growth of local and organic produce, beef and artisan products including bread. At The Kitchen at Fort Berens, our winery restaurant that overlooks our 20-acre vineyard and the majestic mountain range, all of the richness of these bounties come together with farm-to-table meals that showcase the local food paired with our wines.”

Look for the award-winning wines of Fort Berens at their winery, at government and private liquor stores and restaurants throughout BC and through their Discovery Club Wine Club. The Kitchen at Fort Berens is now open daily for the season for lunch, Friday night tapas, Saturday night dinners and a series of special events.

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. 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, call1.877.956.7768, visit, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

High resolution images and technical data sheets are available at For a list of the gold-medal awards, see below.

For further information, please contact:

Kim Lawton
DogLeg Marketing & Business Solutions

The Fort Berens Gold Medal Awards Lineup

Riesling 2015:

  • DOUBLE GOLD – San Francisco International Wine Competition 2016

Pinot Gris 2015:

  • GOLD – San Francisco International Wine Competition 2016

Chardonnay 2014:

  • GOLD – British Columbia Best of Varietal Awards 2016

Meritage 2013:

  • GOLD (90 Points) – Los Angeles International Wine Competition 2015

Cabernet Franc 2013:

  • GOLD (90 Points) – Los Angeles International Wine Competition 2015
  • GOLD & Best in Class & Chairman’s Award – Riverside International Wine Competition 2015 (CA)

Pinot Noir 2013:

  • PLATINUM – Wine Press Northwest 16th Annual Platinum Judging 2016
  • GOLD – Pacific Rim Wine Competition 2015
  • Top 25 – Cornucopia 2015






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