By Robyn Roste a friend of Mrs. Abbotsford
Although most of the stops on the Circle Farm Tour are most active in summer, some are busy year round. Both my stops this week are perfect examples of this.
Travelling south on Mt. Lehman road I discovered the award-winning Mt. Lehman Winery.
My first stop was the tasting room, which displays a variety of house wines including the boutique winery’s flagship Pinot Noir.
Owner and winemaker Vern Siemens gave me a walking tour, noting everything from the grape growing, fermenting, crushing and pressing happens on site. This makes the winery the perfect place to see winemaking in progress, since there is always something happening.
The property, which visitors are encouraged to explore, has 15 acres of vineyards. Vern said they’ve planted more than 58 varieties of grapes since 1991 and are getting closer to discovering which grapes grow best.
Winemaking for Vern is a labour of love. He wants to make products he’s proud of—and for his wines to achieve drinkability.
Just off the freeway on McCallum road sits Restaurant 62, the popular birthday and anniversary destination known for its fine dining. Breaking from the traditional farm, I was curious to discover why a restaurant is part of the Circle Farm Tour.
Co-owner Alicia Bodaly walked me through their menu, rounded out with ingredients from local food producers. For the past 10 years the restaurant has demonstrated a commitment to local and organic food.
Using local produce means their menu needs to adjust for seasonal fruits and vegetables. Alicia and co-owner chef Jeff Massey create new menus every few months, ensuring their dishes are in season, top quality and tasty. But their food is not the only liquid feature—as the menu changes their by-the-glass wine list, many from local producers, also adjusts to highlight the best pairings for their dishes.
Their current menu features a Yarrow Meadows duck breast with sour cherries (from Alicia’s parent’s orchard). The classic pairing? A 2011 Mt. Lehman Reserve Pinot Noir.
Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.