Robert's Report

A Trip Down Mt. Lehman Road

There is nothing like travelling the back roads of the Fraser Valley; especially when your destination is a winery. Our objective was two wineres, both on Mt. Lehman Road in Abbotsford. Our first stop would be the newly open Singletree Winery followed by the more established Mt. Lehman Winery.

5782 Mt. Lehman Road
Abbotsford, British Columbia*

Garnet Etsell and his wife Debbie had established a successful farming business in the valley, as their family grew and matured they realized their turkey farm was not going sustain their sons and families. The solution, start a winery. The vineyard was first established in 2010.

Andrew Etsell went off to UC Davis to become certified as a winemaker in 2013. He also did a apprentiship at Mission Hill Winery in Kelowna.

It was a lucky day for us as we entered the new and attractive tasting room as both Garnet and Andrew were there. I chatted with them as Barbara visited with Andrew's wife Laura and their young son who had stopped by the winery.

Their philosophy states With extensive farming experience, our family has developed a strong work ethic, sense of responsibility, and appreciation for our agriculture, that we aim to express with Singletree. As we chatted it was obvious this was true and there was a strong passion to prove that we were indeed in wine country.

The truth would be found in the wines and they did not disappoint, in fact they exceeded expectations. The wines are currently produced at Okanagan Crush Pad under the guidance of Matt Dumaye.

The Farm Hand White 2013

A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris from the estate vineyard. Good aromas of tangerine fruit, with hints of sweetness. It had a light spicy finish, a good wine. 88

Siegerrebe 2013

A nice floral aroma, a delicate wine with good flavours that Siegerrebe is noted for. Dominated by peaches and pears. The body was perfect with a nice sweet note. Barbara and I both agreed this wine was among the best Siegerrbes produced in BC. 93

We left the winery feeling very excited about the future of Singetree Winery. We also made room for Shaw Cable crew who arrived to produce a story for the Chillawack station.

It was now time to move down the road and visit Mt Lehman Winery. You might say for our annual visit. After such a nice warm reception from Heidi we may just have to return more often. Heidi is MS. HOSPITALITY! She is also passionate and knowledgeable about her wines.


Happy Customers at Mt Lehman

We had a good time in the tasting room along with these two gentleman, a father and son, who were were enjoying a day out together. They also stopped in at Singletree the same time we did. I snuck behind the counter to join Heidi as Barbara took the photo

Mt. Lehman has a really good cellar of fine wines. They have a strong portfolio of whites as was proven when Barbara (a dedicated red wine lover) chose to take home a bottle of their 2011 Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc.

2012 Symmetry - blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Ehrefelser, Riesling and Oraniensteiner combining to give a fruity, floral, aromatic blend highlighting nuances of peach and nectarine and finishing clean and fresh. 94

2011 Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc - this was Barbara's favourite. combining apple, pear and melon leading to a long and smooth, creamy finish.  It has a wonderful sweetness. 93


It was now time for a late lunch, we headed for Tanglebank Gardens owned by Arnold and Brenda Falk at the recommendation of Heidi. Tanglebank Gardens is a “boutique” style nursery situated in beautiful rural West Abbotsford, close to the wineries.

The building also houses a eating area called Brambles Bistro where Barbara and I enjoyed an amazing lunch.

I had a Apple and Turkey Melt Panini with house roasted turkey, granny smith apples, black pepper and citrus cranberry compote, aged cheddar, garlic aioli. It came with roasted potatoes. It was delicious.

Barbara had the Ultimate Grilled Cheese with roasted tomato relish, bacon jam and tons of cheese This came with a mediterranean quinoa and kale salad that Barbara was very impressed with.

Look what we purchsed for our garden

After lunch we chatted with the co-owner Brenda Falk and toured the gardens. Brenda was very helpful in answering Barbara's questions about plants she was interested in for our place. We marked Tanglebank as a place we must return to very soon. Barbara was very impressed at how healthy and moderately priced the plants were. I might add that she also enjoyed browsing the unique gift shop.

read more on Brambles

*sorry about the photo, the camera lens got wet in the rain.

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