In a beautiful rural setting in an area known as Mount Lehman (just north of Abbotsford) one finds what is known as horse country. With its unique country roads, large pastures with grazing horses, this region is slowly but surely becoming wine country. Farmers are venturing into grape growing; vineyards are are dotting the landscape; wineries are opening.
One of the new wineries is a real gem called Seaside Pearl Farmgate Estate Winery, owned by Allison and David Zimmerman. Allison once owned a successful pearl jewellery gift shop on the beach in White Rock hence the name Seaside Pearl.
At the invitation of Allison Zimmerman we drove from our home in Langley on a rainy Spring afternoon. Not open to the public as yet; the aim is for a soft opening on April 22, 2017. Both Allison and David are working hard towards that goal.
The rains ceased as we arrived at the gate, once inside we were able to admire the property and view The winery sits on a ten acre plot that allows for views of the Valley, Mount Baker and Mount Golden Ears. The farm estate also operates as a small horse ranch. The grounds that run along the lane will be planted with vines. The lane led us to their Chapel Tasting Room., the copper spired chapel is a designers delight. The interior displays spectacular craftsmanship from the entrance chandelier to the intimate patio. One has to be impressed with the hand painted cherry blossoms that adorn the ceiling and walls.
Allison gave us a tour of the tasting room which includes a front and back patio area perfect for enjoying a tasting of wine along with a Charcuterie plate menu. There will also be a picnic area perfect for enjoying those mountain view. Upstairs we be a private seating area for your small group event. Allison is aiming to include small gatherings such as weddings, birthday celebrations and vow reaffirmations at the winery over and above the wine tasting.
David, who was busy working in the barrel cellar came by to say hello. We later joined him for a tasting of wines right from the barrels.
David Zimmerman - Winemaker/Owner
David Zimmerman and Bob Bell enjoying Seaside Pearl wines.
With the rain stopped and a few glimmers of sunshine happening we walked down the lane from the visitors tasting room to the winery, with its barrels, tanks and lab. Here Allison presented the current selection of bottled wines which are named after the history of the Mt Lehman region. We started with a most refreshing Pinot Gris 2104 labeled Sam and Isaac Pinot Gris. Sam and Issac Lehman were the first pioneers to settle in the region.
An interesting wine is their Estate grown Petit Milo; a grape associated with Nova Scotia and Vancouver Island. The Charotte Estate Petit Milo will be a must try wine soon!
David gave us tastings from the barrel and tanks, Barbara was extremely impressed with the tanked Chardonnay; from the aroma to the flavour. The barrelled Cab Franc is also high on the list, I actually drank my share, along with Barbara's which is something for a die hard white wine drinker. David had to return to the barrel to get Barbara a taste, she agreed with me.
David is the winemaker under the guidance of well known winemake and consultant Mark Simpson. Mark’s Siren’s Call wine won the 2015 BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in Wines. Mark’s philosophy to winemaking: Develop the best fruit flavours and retain these flavours during winemaking. A firm believer that the start of every great wine begins in the vineyard he is passionate about crafting wines that express a sense of place. The wines at Seaside Pearl Winery reflect this and will help establish the Mt Lehman area as a new BC wine growing region.
Allison Nicholas Zimmerman and David Zimmerman
Allison is the driving force behind the design and construction of the chapel tasting room and from what we can see she is doing a spectacular job. Her contractor also named David is a perfectionist with his work and it shows! We are looking forward to our next visit to take in the finishing touches Allison described and of course taste more wines!
Barbara and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the winery. It has a spectacular location, great facilities, wonderful wines and best of all amazing owners, with a passion for their winery and wines. Does the fact that we were there for six hours tell you anything?
We will return in a few weeks time when the winery is officially open for an update to Robert's Report.
Return to Robert's Report
report by Barbra and Robert A Bell
Home | Sitemap | New | Fraser Valley Wineries | Contact Us | Where to Stay |Advertise | ©2017 Robert A Bell