Winery Nears 1st Anniversary
Northern Lights Estate Winery – photo 250News
Prince George, B.C.- In just two weeks, the Northern Lights Estate Winery on PG Pulpmill Road in Prince George, will celebrate its first Anniversary, and what a year it has been.
“We’re so excited about the way this first year has treated us, about the way this community has treated us” says Northern Lights Operating Partner Doug Bell “This has been phenomenal, we couldn’t have predicted the kind of support we’ve gotten so far.”
The fruit winery is making a mark in the fruit winery business says Bell ” We’re actually quickly approaching the top five in fruit wineries in terms of production in B.C., We didn’t expect that to happen so quickly. We’re already at capacity for making as much wine as we possibly can, so we’re increasing our capacity by 54% this year by getting new equipment.”
While the winery first started producing product with a little help from non locally grown juices, Bell says they are now producing some wines that are from 100% northern grown fruits “Not only are we using our own orchard fruits, we’re also partnering with orchards in the north, such as Sweder Berry, Veekens we have now taken over which is near the Airport, and Heritage Acres Organics in Quesnel. We also do programs such as the Bear Aware apple picking program which we did last year. We partnered with them to take (apples from) areas that were at risk of human-bear conflict and were able to take over 5,000 pounds (of unwanted apples) in 2015. ” He says they are also working with different groups and First Nations to see if there are opportunities to collect fruit during normal wild berry picking season.
The winery is making its mark in Prince George both for its fruit wines, and for its setting along the banks of the Nechako River as it is quickly becoming a popular spot for weddings and special events. In addition to offering winery tours, Northern Lights is preparing to launch joint tours with Pacific Western Brewing “People can learn about the brewing process at PWB, se it in action, see what kind of new products they have coming down the line, then come to the winery and do the same, learn about how we make our wines what kind of fruits we are growing on site and learn the whole process from start to finish.” Those tours start this Thursday.
Then on Father’s Day, there’s a Bar B.Q. says Bell “I think if we can give families a reason to come out and enjoy the winery, enjoy the scenery, the river and get quality time together the better. So we’re trying to create events that will bring families together and create new things to do in Prince George.” Tickets for the Father’s Day Bar B Q are being sold in advance and the event is expected to be a sell out.
Those new things, include a concert with Gary Fjellgaard on June 25th at the amphitheatre on the north side of the orchard “So I think we have a couple of good things coming up.”
He says the winery continues to work with a number of organizations including Tourism Prince George, “Where it’s possible, we think its important to collaborate with the City, Tourism Prince George and other businesses in the City to make sure we are all successful.”