I received several wines from Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery that is located in the Fraser Valley at Mount Lehman. The tasting room is built to resemble a chapel, which looks very inviting to visit. It is only a one hour drive from Vancouver, so when Dr. Henry says we can travel, that would be an easy day trip. The chapel shows as the logo for the winery.
Two wines that I am tasting for this article are their 2019 Petite Milo and their 2018 Gewurztraminer. They do have estate fruit, where the cooler climate grapes are grown, and they also procure grapes from the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys for the warmer varieties, e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. You may not have heard about this small winery, but they produce many different wines, with interesting wine labels covering something about BC’s history.
You probably have tasted Gewurztraminer, but have you tried Petite Milo yet? Petite Milo is an early ripening, disease-resistant, white wine grape that has pink skin. It is a Blattner hybrid, which is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon, Riparia and Amurensis. It can achieve high sugar levels while retaining good levels of acidity. That makes it perfect for the cooler Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island climates. You can get stonefruit, citrus, and tropical fruit flavours from this grape variety.
The winemaker and owner of this winery is David Zimmerman, who is guided in the winemaking process by winemaker and consultant Mark Simpson. David produces small-lot wines so he can concentrate on all aspects of the winemaking process, and make wines that are true to their varietal character.
My Wine Tasting Notes
Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Matsqui Prairie Gewurztraminer 2018
Matsqui is derived from the Sto:lo First Nation word halq’emeylem, which means a “stretch of higher ground”. Matsqui Prairie was the first area settled that would become the City of Abbotsford.
*an interesting update! After being open in my wine storage unit for 3 days, the wine really opened up and had a significant amount of lychee and rose aromas and flavours. So if you do buy this wine, I recommend giving it a long decant, keep nosing the wine until the lychee and roses appears and you will be rewarded.
Appearance: A deeper, bright golden colour.
Nose: A medium-plus intensity nose with a mix of lemon, honey, peaches, along with some sweet spices and apple skin. With decanting the aromas are more of honey, ripe peaches and some grape stem woodiness.
Palate: Very slightly off-dry, fuller-bodied with a very smooth, thick mouthfeel. Pronounced flavours with tropical fruit, peach, citrus, and honey. It gets peppery on the mid-palate to the finish. It also becomes steely toward the finish. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter with decanting but is still very smooth and the fruit flavours persist.
Finish: A medium plus length, finishing quite peppery, with tart citrus fruit, stone fruit, and then pronounced apricot at the very end. Bright acidity till the end.
This Gewurztraminer has 3 years of age on it. I think the sweet spices and lychee aromas and flavours you typically get with a new vintage have passed and the wine is now evolving with distinct tropical fruit, stone fruit aromas and flavours. *See my note above.
Rating: A Gewurztraminer with pronounced aromas of lemon, peaches and honey. Fuller-bodied with bright acidity and a thicker mouthfeel. Tropical fruit, peach, and honey, with some pepperiness on the finish.
Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Charlotte Estate Petite Milo 2019
“Charlotte” is the wife of English horticulturist Fenwick Fatkin who invited local growers around Mount Lehman in 1928 to showcase their daffodils in an effort to make this area a “second Holland”. There is now an annual flower show in the Fraser Valley. 105 cases of this wine are produced.
Appearance: Medium-plus, bright lemon colour.
Nose: A medium intensity nose that starts off with lots of lime, plus lemon, and touches of peach, apricot and honey. But then with swirling you get significant guava aromas. The aromas change a bit with decanting. They are a little bit lighter, and you get significant guava along with green bean aromas.
Palate: Slightly off-dry with medium acidity. Round with a thicker textured mouthfeel. Some acidic prickle on the tongue. Lots of apricot flavour with lighter amounts of citrus and guava, and a touch of honey. Some lime with swirling. You also get some grape stem on the mid-palate to the finish. The wine tastes dry with decanting. You get apricot and guava flavours and a hint of green bean. The flavours are lighter overall.
Finish: A medium-plus length with a mix of apricot and guava flavours, and then honey at the very end. The wine continues with the thick mouthfeel to the end together with the acidic prickle.
This wine was a pleasant surprise for me. It has a lot of fruit character upon opening. I would suggest drinking it in one sitting so that you enjoy the wide range of aromas and flavours.
Rating: – A surprising wine. Lime and lemon along with touches of peach, apricot and honey on the nose. It has a thicker, round mouthfeel. Lots of apricot with hints of citrus, and guava. Bright acidity.
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can purchase their wines online via their website. These wines may be at private wine shops, but you need to ask.