Is there anything better than a delectable drink that’s also environmentally friendly? We don’t think so, which is why we can’t get enough of Lotusland and their delicious, organic, local wines. That’s right; Lotusland is an organic vineyard based right here in Abbotsford. In fact, owners Liz and David Avery proudly say it’s the only 100 percent Fraser Valley Winery.
That means all the wines are made from Fraser Valley fruit, and they’re not just talking about grapes. Devil’s Spit, a red wine, is made from blackberries. But of course they have wines made from grapes, too. One of their best sellers is the Girlsrmeaner, a white wine in both dry and off dry, and the Ortega, with fresh citrus aromas. Or, if you feel like a red, they have a selection that includes Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Enigma.
But at Lotusland, it’s not just about the wines; it’s about caring for the environment. None of the fruit is exposed to chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Liz and David say that was important to them because they knew their children would be working with the grapes, and they didn’t want their children exposed to harmful chemicals. The priority, Liz says, is being good stewards of the land.
“The people of the Haida Gwaii have a saying that we borrow this earth from our grandchildren,” David says. “That’s a philosophy that goes in every bottle we produce.”
Because the wines are so delicious, you might assume Liz and David have an extensive history involving wines, but they don’t. Before starting Lotusland in 1997 (the retail store opened in 2002), Liz was a stay-at-home mom who did contract house cleaning once her children were in school. David was involved in regional sales for an office products company. They were amateur wine makers, who decided they wanted to spend their days in the outdoors. So they bought the property in Abbotsford where Lotusland now sits.
The acreage Lotusland is on is actually a reclaimed gravel quarry, so one of the first priorities was spending long hours in the yard, picking up all rocks larger than three inches—by hand. “There is not one square foot of this land that we haven’t altered,” Liz says.
Liz says the move to planting seeds was actually a progression. The land was seeded with hay, but Liz didn’t feel what they were doing was farming. So, David suggested growing grapes. They obtained cuttings from the Okanagan, cut them into the appropriate sizes and then, after a few years and a lot of hard work—during which David was still involved in his sales job—Lotusland wines were available for sale.
“We wanted a coastal flavour for our wines,” David says. “We’d like the Lotusland N.V. [pronounced like envy] to become the wine that coastal B.C. is known for, similar to what the Sauvignon Blanc is to New Zealand. We want to find something unique to this region, so people come for that wine.”
In addition to the Lotusland retail store, which offers wine tastings, Lotusland wines can be found in a variety of restaurants and retail outlets. A bottle of Lotusland wine makes a fantastic gift because it is local and organic, and so many people enjoy it. Lotusland organic wines range in price from $16 to $35. But even though the wines might just make a perfect gift, you can always pick up a bottle to enjoy yourself. Because the perfect bottle of wine, paired with a delicious meal, is a little taste of paradise. We especially love the Girlsrmeaner in off dry.
Would you like to visit this Fraser Valley winery? We are excited to send one lucky reader for a tour, for up to 12 people, of the winery, including a tasting from the tank and barrel and samples in their tasting room.
Please leave a note below to be entered to win. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on November 2, 2011. You must be 19 years of age or older to participate in this contest.
Update: Congratulations to our winner, Doug. This contest is now closed.
28450 King Road, Abbotsford