Winery’s Success Means Short Shut Down
Northern Lights Estate Winery has been embraced by community – photos 250News
Prince George, B.C. – To say the first year of operations for the Northern Lights Estate Winery has been a success would be an understatement.
The winery officially opened on June 26th, and has sold about 15 thousand bottles of the fruit based wines since that opening day. That’s more than owner Doug Bell expected “It absolutely exceeded our expectations for the first year. The community was so supportive of the winery.”
That support means the winery is running out of product and is looking at a short shut down “That’s the tough reality of the business” says Bell. “Our expectations were that hopefully we would be able to stay open right through to the new year, and we will re-open in December, but unfortunately for November, and part of October potentially, we will have to shut down because of the success we’ve had and the support of the community.”
Word of the temporary closure has created mixed feelings says Bell as it is a sign of the winery’s success, but those who had hoped to buy a bottle of wine may not be able to, at least not until the winery reopens in December.
Those who work at the winery will still be reporting to their jobs during the public closure, Bell says their duties will simply be re-focused to making more wine “So we’re going to be bottling and finishing as much wine as we can that we’ve been making through the summer so we’ll have some wines for Christmas, including a cranberry wine”.
(At right, Farm Manager Noemie Touchette stirs the fermenting apple wine )
The winery is processing some 5,000 pounds of apples gathered this fall and will start bottling that, 100% Prince George wine in February. “We are going to have some great apple wines coming out as well as some apple blends that are really really nice.”
Other than the apple based wine which will be 100% from Prince George harvest, it will likely be about 3 years before the winery’s own orchards are producing enough rhubarb, berries and apples, to make all of the wines 100% Prince George grown.