Fort Berens Wins Top White Wine plus 5 Gold Medals

Fort Berens Estate Winery Wins Best White Wine at Whistler Cornucopia Plus 5 Other Gold Medals 

It’s been a big week for Lillooet’s Fort Berens Estate Winery as they learned that their Chardonnay received top honours at the 2019 Whistler Cornucopia Top 20 Wines Competition. Fort Berens Chardonnay 2018 was named Top White Wine in the competition. 

Fort Berens also received an incredible collection of seven additional medals at two other prestigious wine competitions in the last week, including five gold medals, a silver medal, and a bronze medal. 

In Kelowna, the results of the 2019 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards were announced and Fort Berens was awarded three gold medals, a silver medal, and a bronze medal in this prestigious competition: 

Cabernet Franc 2017 – Gold Pinot Gris 2018 – Gold Pinot Noir Reserve 2017 – Gold Riesling 2018 – Silver White Gold 2017 – Bronze 

Finally, down in Washington, at the 2019 Great Northwest International Wine Competition, the results were announced and Fort Berens was awarded two additional gold medals: 

Riesling 2018 – Gold Cabernet Franc 2017 – Gold 

Rolf de Bruin, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Berens shared, “This has been an incredible week. We are incredibly humbled to see our Chardonnay recognized as the top white wine at Whistler Cornucopia. To win top white wine in Whistler is a real honour for our entire team.” 

This is the second in time in the last six years that the Fort Berens Chardonnay took the title of Top White at Cornucopia. In 2013, the Fort Berens Chardonnay 2012 was awarded Top White Wine. The 2012 vintage was an excellent vintage with many wines from winemaker James Cambridge receiving excellent accolades. 

DJ Kearney, head judge of the 2019 Whistler Cornucopia Top 20 Wines competition offered the following, “Congratulations to all the winners; it is gratifying to see such deserving top three wines: two elegant, authentic B.C. standouts, and a compelling red from Mt. Etna, Sicily.” 

Rolf explained, “The Chardonnay 2018 is tasting incredible. Made primarily from estate grown Chardonnay grapes from our Dry Creek Vineyard, this wine was mostly fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, while a smaller portion was fermented in new and neutral French oak barrels. A number of the barrels were left to ferment spontaneously. The result is a lightly oaked wine with aromas of ripe yellow apples, pineapple and lemon curd. It is medium-bodied with flavours of fresh peaches, apricot and granny smith apples, which leads to a light toasty finish. It’s a great wine to pair with roasted chicken, traditional Thanksgiving dinner, or a creamy pasta such as fettuccine alfredo.” 

Following the news of the top white wine at Whistler Cornucopia, seven additional medal announcements followed for Fort Berens within 24 hours. Rolf explained, “We couldn’t be more pleased to receive five additional gold medals, a silver, and a bronze in these two other wine competitions. We’re thrilled to see the diversity of the medals across our entire line-up. Winning these gold, silver and bronze medals for both red and white wines, in both our classic tier and our reserve tier, including wines from both our 2017 and 2018 vintages, reinforces that our grape growing and winemaking teams are doing an incredible job.” 

“We are thrilled to see our Riesling and Cabernet Franc continue to compete very strongly at a variety of competitions, each winning at least three gold medals to-date this year. These two varietals are extremely well suited in the Lillooet appellation. These results are encouraging and support our decision to plant more Cabernet Franc and Riesling in our recently planted Red Rock Vineyard. We are deeply honoured to be able to showcase the quality of the wines we are able to produce here in Lillooet.” expanded Rolf. 

Fort Berens wines are for sale at the winery, online, and at liquor stores and restaurants around BC. 

Fort Berens Estate Winery is a culmination of the dreams, vision and pioneering spirit of several entrepreneurs – Heleen Pannekoek, Rolf de Bruin, Hugh Agro, Sean Harvey, Jason Neal, John McConnell, Tara Christie, Raymond Rae, Joseph Neal, Dan Barnholden and Patrick & Caroline Downey. The owners of Fort Berens share a common belief in the incredible winemaking potential of the area and a shared vision to make Fort Berens into one of Canada’s leading producers of fine wine. With its vineyards on sagebrush covered benchland along the Fraser River at the base of towering mountains, Fort Berens embraces the spirit of Lillooet. Discover Fort Berens Estate Winery, Lillooet’s first winery, in BC’s newest wine region and explore 150 years of pioneering spirit. For more information, call 1.877.956.7768, visit, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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1 thought on “Fort Berens Wins Top White Wine plus 5 Gold Medals”

  1. Fort Berens makes terrific wine, and if you’re not sure about this, then you need to check out their white wine. Once you drink this wine, you’ll know that I am right here. You’ll come back to this comment, and thank me.


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