Mead is often referred to as the drink of the gods. Festina Lente owners Bill and Teresa Townsley may be the King and Queen of Mead.
Mead, often referred to as honey wine, is an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of honey and is, in all likelihood, the oldest alcoholic beverage known to mankind. Before agricultural techniques were developed, humans were traditionally hunters and gatherers. After gathering honey from the hive, the natural yeast and high moisture content would
cause the honey to ferment, producing mead. It is no wonder
mead is often referred to as ‘the nectar of the gods', as its appearance seemed miraculous.
We first visited the meadery in 2017
We wrote the following:
The Fraser Valley has another bright star on the horizon. Festina Lente honey winery has opened across the road from Township7. The meadery is owned by Teresa Townsley and Bill Townsley. It all began with a 5 acre hobby farm purchased in 2010. The farm is now inhabited by 4 horses, 30 chickens, an indoor cat, 2 active and lovable puppies and two University-aged Children who are as dedicated to their horses. As beekeepers and winemakers, it was a natural fit to explore the lost tradition of Mead or Honey Wines
"Festina Lente" is Latin for "Make Haste Slowly" and reflecting the care and pride that the owners take in their sophisticated and timeless wines.
Barbara and I had met Teresa a year ago at a Township7 event where she was displaying her honey and jams. It is obvious a great deal of research and planing went into the opening of their winery. The tasting room is an addition to their home.
The farm is a 5-acre hobby farm situated in Langley, British Columbia's wine region. My husband and I purchased the forested house and land without even a stick of fencing surrounding it in 2010. Little did I know that building our lives here would not only be the most physically demanding project we have ever done, but the most rewarding as well!
As beekeepers and winemakers, it was a natural fit to explore the lost tradition of Mead or Honey Wines. Of course, over the years, tastes change and we have developed a drier and more sophisticated honey wine that can be appreciated for many years. Honey wine is the white wine that ages like a red, so white wine drinkers can now command room in the most refined cellars and enjoy the depth and breadth of ever changing flavours over time.
Barbara and I visited the meadery early in June, 2021 we were immediately impressed by the improvements to the grounds and the new patio. We were even more impressed by the hospitality and the wines. WOW!
Teresa guided us through the tasting experience as we relaxed on the patio. Not only did we enjoy the tasting , we were also joined by numerous Hummingbirds, and enjoyed watching the farm's horses frolic in the pasture.
I counted over a dozen varieties of meads on the tasting room shelves. This illustrates how fruits or other garden products can be added to the mead, producing some amazing wines. Festina Lente uses only produce they grow on their farm except for local berries.
Teresa is a strong supporter of the Canadian wine industry. She believes in neighbours helping neighbours. She is also a strong advocate of quality. Teresa is one of the people bringing OCW standards for fruit and meads much like the VQA standards.
The wines are named after Roman Gods
Juno: A dry Pear Melomel a perfect wine to enjoy with soft cheese. Very impressive flavours.
Sol Convicts: The Sun God. Barbara's favourite, with its nice apricot flavours. Fresh and light a very nice wine.
Minerva: Refreshing and off-dry, with soft honey smoothness and a ginger nose. Proving a nice tingle finish. You must try it!
Vinni Regime A semi sweet-wine with a strong empathizes on the honey! Most enjoyable!
Relax at one of Canada's best Meaderies.