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October 28, 2017 3:40 am

“It’s a Dream Come True”- says Winery Owner

Friday, June 26, 2015 @ 4:44 PM


L-R Pat Bell, Mayor Lyn Hall, Shirley Bond, Mike Morris, Doug Bell and  Brenda Bell do the official  ribbon cutting

Prince George, B.C.-  It was two years ago that former Prince George Mackenzie MLA Pat  Bell publicly announced his plan to build  B.C.’s most northerly winery. Today, that dream became reality.

Pat Bell’s son Doug promised the new, Northern Estates Winery  will be a destination place,  where there will be “events,  there will be weddings, there will be  concerts, there will  be harvest festivals, there will be  wine tasting,  it will be a place where you can take your family.”  The vision  is that the  Northern Lights Estate Winery will be  as important a landmark to Prince George, as the iconic  cutbanks  against which the orchard  is nestled .

“This will be a place where memories are made” said Shirley Bond, long time colleague  and friend of Pat Bell  and his family. She said the winery is already being talked about in other parts of the province. “For me, it’s not just about  what someone and their family can do when they put their hearts and minds to it,  it’s about  how great this is for Prince George.”

(At right, wine glasses at the ready  for  guests to sample the  wine -photo 250News)2015-06-26 15.12.20

The vision  for the project changed  over  the past two years,  “It wasn’t that long ago we were on the other side of the road ( where the orchard is)  talking about this delusion…ah I mean dream” said  Doug Bell.  The original plan had the winery on the north side of PG Pulpmill Road,  but that  was revised,  and so was the budget.

Standing on the patio outside the  Northern Lights Estate Winery on P.G. Pulpmill  Road,   Bell offered thanks to  all who helped make the dream of the fruit winery  a  reality.  From the  real estate agent  who found them the land along the  north bank of the Nechako River,  to the City  planning department which  assisted in  anyway  it could.  But the  deepest thanks went to his wife Brenda and son Doug, who, through the two year planning and construction phase  have  put  plenty of sweat and  financial  equity into the project.

2015-06-26 15.11.34“We think we have an opportunity to build a whole new wine industry based on these types of  fruits” says Pat Bell.  He says the fruit wine industry has changed over the years, and  it is no longer the sweet wine that is the norm , Northern Lights will blend fruits and barrel age wine for a different flavour.

He adds that  PG Pulpmill Road has some of the best agricultural land  in the City, “I measured  the distance from our driveway to the industrial area  down the road,  and there are two kilometres of some of the best agricultural soils in northern British Columbia in this stretch of ground.  I hope what we will do,  in the next few years,   is demonstrate to people that there is a viable business whether it be a winery, or other forms of agriculture, and I would love to see this road renamed  in ten years from now Winery Row, something that really reflects the opportunity  and that people will  come out and participate in agricultural tourism.”


Wow! Congratulations to all of you who worked hard for this. I can’t wait to visit and do some wine tasting. Such a great thing for Prince George.

Something about grapes grown next to a refinery, 2 pulp mills and FMC doesn’t wet my palate.

Hmmm …… grapes huh ….. maybe retired02 is right after all.


I doubt if there will be grapes. More likely apples, rhubarb, saskatoons,raspberries, etc; fruits local to this area.

Let me see if I understand Pat correctly. He is talking about the agriculture land from his driveway to two miles down the road. However he refers to the road as Northwood Pulp Mill Roads, as opposed to its real name ie: Prince George Pulp Mill Road. Northwood Pulp Mill road is on top of highway 97 hill and begins when you turn right just before the lights.

Furthermore. This road was named Prince George Pulp Mill Road, back in the sixties when there were two pulp mills located their,ie; Intercontinental Pulp,. and Prince George Pulp and Paper. This was followed by BC Chemicals, Husky Oil Refinery, FMC Corp, and a few smaller business\s. So what the hell disregard all the business’s and change the name to Whinery Row.

If in fact he is talking about Northwood Pulpmill Road, there are already plenty of agricultural business’s on this road, Primarily beets, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, etc;

“He adds that Northwood Pulpmill Road has some of the best agricultural land in the City…”

Pat, Google Earth will assist you in finding the name of the road where you are located! (Chuckle!).

The pulpmill road which is along the cutbanks on one side and the river on the other side is called Prince George Pulpmill Road. The winery is reported to be located there according to previous stories.

The Northwood Pulpmill road branches off from Highway 97 North.

That fruit wine must carry a real punch!

Editor’s note…
The error was mine..not Pat Bell’s. The correction has been made and apologies made for the mistake
Elaine Macdonald-Meisner

Pg101.. Fmc is no longer. Get with the times.. Btw. What do they have for emissions?

Pval: the road from the traffic circle, all the way to the mills, smells like your Lululemons after a hard night out at the Generator.

Winery road, yes, that could be fitting. They can make the wine and the people in the trailer court down the road can drink it, surrounded by trash tossed down the embankments. Sounds rather derelict sheik. Northwood pulpmill road would have been a much better choice.

Does it bother anyone else that there are 3 public officials at this private business opening in the middle of a work day? I sincerely hope they’re attending this little party on their own dime.

I wonder how much of that inventory they show pictured came from Bonaparte Bend Winery in Cache Creek, and has been relabeled? Northern Lights bought all their wine making equipment and remaining wine inventory in March, after Bonaparte Bend shut down production.

They are doing a good job selling this enterprise.
I may find it hard to fully trust what current and former politicians are saying but I sense that this winery is an earnest venture. Just look at the obvious investment in the orchard, they aren’t fooling around.
I think their vision to make PG a destination city is an encouraging sign of confidence, and I hope that attitude is catching.

PG101.. so as per usual… your comments mean a little bit less than nothing.

“This will be a place where memories are made” said Shirley Bond, long time colleague and friend of Pat Bell and his family. She said the winery is already being talked about in other parts of the province. “For me, it’s not just about what someone and their family can do when they put their hearts and minds to it, it’s about how great this is for Prince George.”

Bond… does she even think before she speaks ? shirley… memories are made everywhere… again..you are wasting air .. how is it being talked about… i am leaning towards… hey someone in PG is opening a winery… wtf.. now thats funny..

and this person was our education minister…. shows you dont need to have a clue about what you are minister for..just enjoy the raise..lol

Pval, just when I thought we were finally bonding?

Congratulations.i hope it’s a success

I am not a wine drinker but when the restaurant opens should be a great location beside the river. Finally a restaurant on the river especially for patio sitting. Beat the H out of sitting beside some noisy street. Something like Nancy O’s should partner up.

Can’t wait to unwind on their outdoor patio sipping a glass of their special blend while inhaling all the chiptruck exhaust and traffic dust wafting through the air. Bet there will be a traffic light installed there to allow unfettered access across the road to the “vineyard” along with a 15 kmh posted speed limit. Is there a license plate and insurance on their John Deere Gator they cross the road with every day? Funny how liquor laws changed so quickly to allow freer wine sales in stores since this winery was announced.

A winery in George give me a break well maybe apple cider.

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