On August 9th some of my fellow wine lovers and I will be hosting Drink Your Support, a virtual wine tasting experience in support of Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery, one of Canada’s few Black owned wineries.
Nestled in the the peaceful country setting of Mount Lehman in the Fraser Valley Wine Country of British Columbia, Seaside Pearl is a family owned boutique winery that has caught the attention of wine lovers across the country. Located just an hour outside of the city of Vancouver, the Fraser Valley is an emerging wine region in B.C. With its spectacular views, picturesque country side, and undeniable charm, it’s a perfect place to foster a gem like the Seaside Pearl.
The Seaside Pearl winery is a true family affair, with David getting hands on as winemaker, Allison running the business and guest experience side of things, and even daughter Hennasey and sons Austin and Remington joining to lend a helping hand.
“We’re a small winery, but we have been warmly welcomed here in B.C., by everyone in the industry,” said Allison. And in turn, the Zimmermans work to ensure that Seaside Pearl is just as welcoming to others. “Vancouver is a very diverse city, and we’re very excited that the winery has been welcomed by all walks of life here. And we want to focus to have the winery serve this diverse market.”
Seaside Pearl’s focus is small lot single vineyard VQA wines that they share with friends and family and sell to the most discerning of clients. The wines, made from both Fraser Valley, Similkameen, and Okanagan grapes, are released under labels celebrating the rich history of the Fraser Valley. Even the names of the wines showcase that very history, a tribute to the region that nurtured them. For example, the Sam and Isaac Pinot Gris is named for 2 members of the Lehman family, for whom Mount Lehman was named. The men were settlers who arrived on the banks of the Fraser River in 1875. Astounded by the beauty of the valley, the Lehmans vowed to make their lives and fortunes in the beautiful countryside. Sam and Isaac helped build a wharf for riverboats and log the area, making it more hospitable for new settlers, and helping to build a thriving community.
Clearly, education is a pillar of the Seaside Pearl’s offering, and integrated in every aspect of the winery, especially within its vineyard tours, and the tastings in their elegant Chapel tasting room. “At our tasting room, we provide an excellent experience in education and wine pairing, and anyone can come for a tasting” Allison said. “A tasting is an adventure, and you can ask anything. It’s all about trying something new, especially if you haven’t been to a one before. If you want to learn, we are here to share.”
If you’re unable to get to the winery in person, especially considering the challenges of travel during the time of COVID-19, fear not: Seaside Pearl’s educational efforts extend to their online presence. “Our social media is also very educational” Allison pointed out. “We provide background information, including tasting notes, on the varietals, and on our unique wine made from that varietal. It’s a nice way to learn about wine.” Seaside Pearl also host their own Wine Club, providing education and access to even the most exclusive wines they offer, without ever leaving your home. A curated selection of wines is delivered right to members’ doors throughout the year.
Another Seaside Pearl signature are its special hybrid wines. The Charlotte Estate Petit Milo and the Interurban Cabernet Foch, are both grown on the estate and a must try when visiting Seaside Pearl in person, or when shopping their selection online, perhaps for a virtual tasting event such as this one. It’s easy to browse, select and purchase these and any of their wines through their new ecommerce site.
On August 9th, we’ll be gathering a group of wine lovers to dish and drink all things Seaside Pearl. The winery has curated a beautiful selection for the tasting that showcases the diversity of the winery’s offering at exceptional value. You can purchase a case for yourself and sip along with us, or simply sign up for the tasting and watch, listen and learn. Just be sure to order your case before July 27th to ensure it arrives in time for the tasting.