A Visit to Chaberton Estate Winery in the Fraser Valley

Chaberton Estate Winery
Chaberton Estate Winery

With the hot summer weather, it was time for me to get out and enjoy it with a day trip to Chaberton Estate Winery in Langley where I met with GM Brian Ensor.  He gave me a guided tour, first bringing me out to the vineyards where the first vines I saw were their 40-year-old Bacchus grapes.  It is hard to think that there has been a winery in the Fraser Valley for this many years, but it’s true.  We are building up our grape growing and wine-making history in BC. 

We then made it over to the bottling line where they were bottling their latest Cabernet Franc wine.  This was the first time that I was able to watch bottling in action.  Usually, the bottling machines are idle whenever I visit a winery. It was quite a sight to see the bottles proceed along the conveyor system, sometimes rotating in the air before settling down before being filled with wine and then on to the closure. 

The last stop before tasting some wines was the barrel room, with barrels from France, Hungary, and the United States to impart their unique aromas and flavours to the wines and add some oxygen.  Inside the barrel room was possibly a statue of Bacchus amongst grape vines looking over the barrels.  

Their tasting room is quite large and has room for people to taste wines at the tasting bar, or take a flight of wines out to their patio to enjoy.  I stayed inside with Brian pouring me several white wines, one Rosé and one red wine, giving me some background on each wine and sharing our impressions as we each sipped these wines.  Chaberton Estate Winery’s wines are vegan-friendly.

After you finish a wine tasting with them, they do have their excellent Bacchus Bistro.  I stayed for lunch and had the special for the day, a pan-fried halibut on spinach, alongside scalloped potatoes.  I paired their Chaberton Estate Winery Madeleine Sylvaner 2021 with this dish and it was delicious.

My Wine Tasting Notes

Chaberton Estate Winery Madeleine Sylvaner 2021 with wine in glass
Chaberton Estate Winery Madeleine Sylvaner 2021 with wine in glass

Chaberton Estate Winery Madeleine Sylvaner 2021 (BC $17.95) – You may not have heard of this grape.  It is quite rare.  The grape is a hybrid between Madeleine Angevine x Silvaner, made in Germany.  The grape may be better known as a table grape for eating, but it does make a tasty wine as I found out in this tasting.  89% of these grapes were stainless steel fermented then aged on the lees for 2 months, while 11% of the grapes were barrel fermented for 4 months in new French oak.  This wine has a fresh stone fruit nose with a touch of orange.  Dryish, medium body and round with crisp red apple flavour, a touch of orange and light tannins.  A delicate wine. 4.5 stars

Chaberton Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2021 (BC $17.95) – a Rosé from the Pinot Gris grape co-fermented with Chardonnay in stainless steel tanks and aged on lees for 2 months.  A touch of Gewurztraminer was blended in as well.  You may think of Pinot Gris as making white wine, but the skins turn reddish when the grapes ripen so leaving the skins in contact with the juice will give you a Rosé wine.  This wine had 10 hours of skin contact.  It is a bright, pale salmon colour.  Light aromas of matchstick and stonefruit.  Crisp red fruit and strawberry aromas.  Medium body and acidity.  Very light tannins.  Strawberries and red fruit on the finish. 4 stars

Chaberton Estate Winery Siegerrebe (BC $17.95) – Quite aromatic with orange, lychee, and pine needle aromas.  Medium body, roundish, with medium acidity.  Orange, grapefruit, and green fruit flavours with pine needles and lemon pith toward the finish. 4 stars

Chaberton Estate Winery Bacchus 2021 (BC $17.95) – Bacchus is the most popular wine for this winery, coming from the grapes with the longest vine age.  85% of this wine is from Bacchus, with 15% a blend of Riechensteiner, Siegerrebe, Maledeine Sylvaner, and Ortega.  This wine has light pear aromas plus a touch of capsicum.  Off-dry with a medium acidic prickle.  Juicy tropical and green fruit flavours.  Soft and round mouthfeel.  A delicate wine. 4 stars

Chaberton Estate Winery Valley Chardonnay 2020 with wine in glass
Chaberton Estate Winery Valley Chardonnay 2020 with wine in glass

Chaberton Estate Winery Valley Chardonnay 2020 (BC $17.95) – from the Okanagan Valley. Light pears on the nose.  Medium body with a thicker mouthfeel.  Pears and other stone fruits plus a touch of pineapple on the palate.  Smooth with medium acidity.  A touch of tannins. 4 stars

Chaberton Estate Winery Barrel Aged Chardonnay 2019 (BC $22.50) – from the Okanagan Valley. – Light vanilla, pineapple and pears on the nose.  Medium-plus body, thicker mouthfeel, round and soft.  Ripe pears and pineapple, with a touch of nutmeg and oak. 4 stars4.5 stars

Chaberton Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2021 (BC $17.95) – from the Okanagan Valley. 95% of these grapes were fermented in stainless steel and 5% were fermented in French oak for 3 months. 3% Gewurztraminer was included in this wine.  It has light matchstick, melon and green fruit aromas.  Medium-plus body, round with a thicker mouthfeel.  Green Chile, green fruit and citrus.  Medium acidity.  Not overdone. Medium length. 3.5 stars4 stars

Chaberton Estate Winery Gamay Noir 2021 (BC $20.95) – 55% of this wine was aged in new oak barrels for 5 months and the remaining 45% was aged in stainless steel tank.  5% Cabernet Franc is added to this wine.  It has a bright clear, lighter red cherry colour.  Red fruit, red cherries, and a touch of black pepper on the nose.  Light body, round and dry.  Cranberries and tart red fruits plus a hint of sweet spices and pepperiness.  Light tannins.  Well rounded.  Fresh and bright flavours. 4.5 stars

Where Can I Buy These Wines?

4-packs of Chaberton canned wines
4-packs of Chaberton canned wines

You can purchase these wines through the Chaberton Estate Winery website.  Here is the URL for the white wines.  From here you can go to the red and rosé wine pages.  They also do have 250 ml cans of Chaberton White and Chaberton Pink that you may want to take with you on a picnic or hike. 

The Madeleine Sylvaner is also available at BC Liquor stores.  Everything Wine and Save On Foods have a range of wines from Chaberton Estate Winery. 

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.