NLEW featured in the Citizen

Winery hopes to bear fruit

NLEW-citizenstoryBefore there can be Northern Lights wine, there must first be northern leaves. From the leaves and flowers will come fruit. From the fruit will come the north’s first commercially-produced estate vino.

Winery owners Pat Bell and his son Doug were standing in the sunshine of their North Nechako property as the first trees and berry bushes were planted in what they expect to soon be a full-production winery at the base of the cutbanks.

Apple wine will be one of the priority wines produced by Northern Lights Estate Winery. Two-year-old Goodland and Honey Crisp trees have now been planted, in anticipation of fruit production two more years from now.

“We relied heavily on the experience of Jos Van Hage [owner of Art Knapp’s Plantland], Karen Kellett [owner of Northern Farm Products Ltd. and Sweder Berries U-Pick] and [sustainable food advocate] Don Bassermann for a lot of our thinking around what to plant,” said Pat Bell.

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