Fort Berens Estate Winery – Lillooet
Lillooet has a surprising amount of fun trails and pretty areas to explore… but did you know it also has a winery!? Friends told me that the best food in Lillooet is at the Fort Berens Estate Winery. But when I called to make a reservation we were sad to hear their restaurant is not open once the weather gets chilly. However, you can still drop by and taste their wine.
Just before this we’d hiked up to the Seton Lake viewpoint and Red Rock (half way up the mountain in the background below…) so we looked down at the vineyard and decided to visit for our next excursion.
Fort Berens Estate Winery
Location: 1881 BC-99, Lillooet, BC V0K 1V0
Phone: (250) 256-7788
Open: 10am-4pm everyday apart from Wednesdays.
We did call ahead to check the opening times. As we visited in the autumn, it was not super busy, so they told us to just drop by whenever we had time to visit.
Fort Berens Estate Winery is located just outside Lillooet, which is one of BC’s hot spots (with long, dry summers that are great for vino.) There are two main vineyards – 20 acres that was planted in 2009, and a further 18 acres that was planted in 2018. They also plant a variety of indigenous plant along the boarders to attract birds and insects.
Fort Berens Estate Winery Tastings
You do not have to book tastings. They told us they regularly change the wines…so you’ll taste whatever is open that day. When we visited we tried their Pino Gris, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Meritage.
I liked their Riesling best (it is fairly dry, but has a slightly tropical flavour.) I think Marc was more partial to their Meritage. It’s not the very best wine we’ve had in BC, but we did like it enough to go home with a couple of bottles.
Fort Berens Estate Winery Views
While you taste the wine, you get to look out to these fantastic views over Lillooet and the surrounding mountains. You can also peek down into the winery where the magic happens.
Wait, why are there camels!?
You might notice that some of the wines have pictures of Camels on the labels. This is a nod to the history of Lillooet. In 1862, John Calbreath brought 23 camels to Lillooet to help carry heavy loads along the trails during the Gold Rush. The camels ate miners clothes, kicked anyone who came near them, and were generally grumpy and ungovernable. In the end, they were set free to roam where they pleased. Some died in winter storms, some were eaten for meat, but one “the Lady” survived on a farm until 1896.
In addition to the wine, the shop has some cute souvenirs and fantastic local produce (like honey, jams, hiking books etc.) We really enjoyed our visit, so I am keen to come back and eat at the Kitchen at Fort Berens.
What do you think? We visited on a grey day, but I still thought the vineyards were lovely. It must be a stunning area when the sun comes out! Do you fancy tasting some wine at Fort Berens Estate Winery in Lillooet? If so, click on the pins below to save for later.
25 thoughts on “Fort Berens Estate Winery – Lillooet”
You had me at wine! Sounds like such a fun experience, and I love Riesling too! Michigan and Germany both have great Riesling, but I’ve never had any from BC. They sound just delicious!
Oooh I am not sure if I have ever had wine from Michigan! It’s always exciting to find new regions with fab wine isn’t it!? 🙂
I am not normally a big wine person, but I do love the views at this winery!
Right? I was so impressed by the mountain views in all directions. 😉 You could still visit for the food in the summertime. It sounds like it is great even if you don’t have the wine.
Wow, what a beautiful area. Looks like a place I could hang out at all day!
Thanks Shley! Yeah, it’s a gorgeous location.
Omg the story with the camels is hilarious…All the camels I encountered in UAE were pretty docile and calm. Would def try the wine they make, love wine and trying new flavors!
Lol I wonder if they imported the grumpiest camels they could find!? 😀
The Fort Berens Estate Winery looks and sounds like a fabulous reward after hiking Lillooet. That’s an intriguing story about the camels.
It must have been so strange for the people who arrived for the Gold rush to a desert area in Canada, complete with camels!
How neat to find a winery in the mountains. Sounds like a great reward after a day of hiking. That’s interesting to hear that camels were once brought to this area and I love that they’ve incorporated that story into some of their wine labels.
Yeah, there are a few local landmarks named after camels too…we were really confused about that until we found out more about the history of Lillooet!
Winery looks a fantastic place for an experience! I couldn’t imagine to link camels to Canada honestly! interesting story! very nice article!
Thanks Lasma! It sort of makes sense when you feel how hot this part of Canada can get. During the gold rush I guess they needed more ways to carry all their equipment… I guess they just didn’t expect such grumpy camels!!
That’s so interesting to know that there is a winery here! It’s a nice idea for a stop if you’re thinking of hiking in the area – maybe after the hike though!
Lol yeah…I am nut sure it would work quite so well if you did wine tasting before the hike! 😀
What incredible views! Would definitely want to sip a glass of wine at Fort Berens! And never would have guessed a camels and Canada connection! LOL
Heh. That was our reaction too! I guess there were lots of strange decisions during the Gold Rush years!!
This winery would be perfect for a day trip. Loved the pictures and the history behind the camels on those bottles. I am more of Merlot person but love to sample different wines. Great post.
I love merlot too. <3 But it is always nice to try new wines and see if there are new ones for me to love.
Wow what a stunning winery! I was wondering about the camels too and happy you explained the story behind them! Looks like a great way to spend the afternoon.
oh the landscape is so beautiful! i can imagine coming back here more than once just for it!
Wow, stunning views with nice wines, what an amazing location for wine tasting! Great find Josy. I wasn’t fond of dry wines before but ever since I tasted Riesling back in Strasbourg, I now like it.
I love wine tasting. My friends and I did a trip to Sonoma and had a great time checking out the different wineries. I’d love to another wine tasting trip, maybe to BC. I like the tasting options this winery offers. I’m a big fan of Pino Gris and Riesling.
I love wine so I would love to visit this! And camels…I wanna see them!