Take a weekend drive through the country roads of the Fraser Valley and you will find the most fantastic little gems. Farms, artisan studios, acres of flowers and some of the best wineries in BC. One of our readers recently stumbled across Kermode Wild Berry Winery just outside of Mission and what a great find it was! Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
Over 50 varieties of wild berries grow in abundance throughout our beautiful province. Fritz Sprieszl started exploring wild-growing vegetables and berries several years ago. In doing so, he noticed the abundance of wild berries and decided that fruit wine would be a fantastic way to utilize them. He approached his brother Bob about the possibilities and production began in 2005!
We wondered how one would gather enough berries to harvest this much wine. Surely there can’t be enough wild berries here locally? Indeed some of the species of berries are collected here in the Fraser Valley, but Kermode Wild Berry Wine is produced from wild berries picked from the Sunshine Coast to Blue River. Fritz, Bob, their friends and a troop of pickers head out into the wilderness, old logging cut-outs, the ‘boonies’ to collect all of these berries. They are presently working with 18 varieties of berries from blueberries to orange salmonberries, blackcap raspberries to elderberries – all which are in season at different times on the year. So the picking crew makes their way around the province during the Spring/Summer/early Fall months and wine production takes place in the winter. Kermode Wild Berry Winery is located in a cool old dairy barn, where some of the old dairy vats have been converted to crush berries – very cool!
Fritz impressed us with his berry knowledge. To us, a blackberry looks like a blackberry – we had no idea there were so many different types! After seeing the many different varieties of BC native berries on the wall in the wine tasting room, we’re sure to be taking a closer look at our local wild berries this Summer.
Their great wine flavours are winning awards worldwide. From Ontario to Oregon to Japan, folks are loving unique tastes such as Himalayan Blackberry Port, Alpine Blueberry Liqueur, Glacier Bear Apple Sweet wine and even Blue Elderberry wine. Stop by and taste the unique flavours at Kermode Wild Berry Winery, open daily between 12PM – 6PM. The exclusive Orange Salmonberry wine and the Himalayan Blackberry Port were our favourites!
When you stop by, take a look at the album of berry picking photos. There are photos of a Kermode bear with three white cubs. What great scenery these guys have at work! Kermode (pronounced kur-moe-dee) bears are also known as ‘spirit bears’. They are a sub-species of the black bear, noted for their white/cream coloured coats. They are very rare.
We’re always looking for something unique to gift Mum at Mother’s Day, which we’re sure you are, too. A bottle of something perfectly sweet for Mum awaits you at Kermode Wild Berry Winery. Pick up a bottle at your local private liquor store or, even better, take Mom on a relaxing country drive on Mother’s Day weekend and head for Fritz & Bob’s winery. All FVP readers who mention this feature will receive 10% off at the winery on Mother’s Day weekend (May 8/9, 2010). A fabulous idea!
Kermode Wild Berry Wine
8457 River Road South, Dewdney