Founded in 2010 by the Etsell family, Singletree Winery is a small, family-operated business that just launched this past January in the Fraser Valley.
Steeped in the tradition of farming, the winery was named from a single harness yoke that was commonly used in the late 1800s. The Singletree was an essential tool that allowed fertile land in the Mt. Lehman area to be cleared to make way for future farming grounds.
Husband and wife team Garnet and Debbie have always kept farm life as an important part of their family values. After growing up with families that centred their lives around farming, the Etsell’s came together with a shared passion to grow their own vineyard and winery.
“The warm summers and mild winters of the Fraser Valley climate make it a perfect growing region for the winery to focus on premium white wine grape varieties,” says Garnet Etsell.
The first vineyard planted on two acres of land in 2010 quickly expanded into 12 acres of vineyard, and today the family has well over 67 acres on site.
Singletree Winery currently offers two white wines with grapes sourced from their Fraser Valley vineyard: a single varietal Siegerrebe and Farmhand White, as well as a Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc blend.
The winery also offers a Pinot Noir from Okanagan grapes as their red wine choice. More blends and varietals will be introduced as the vines continue to mature. The winery has plans to release a meritage blend, as well as a sparkling wine in the coming months.
Siegerrebe – 2013 – 11.2% alcohol – $21.90
Siegerrebe, which means “victory” in German, is a white grape that grows very well in cooler climates with intense aromatics similar to a Gewurztaminer. This wine is rich and lush with soft acidity and highly floral aromatics with notes of peaches, pears and lychees. The palate has crisp apple notes with stone fruits and pairs nicely with spicier dishes.
Farmhand White – 2013 – 11.3% alcohol – $19.90
A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, this wine provides a great mouth feel. On the nose you will find aromas of crème brûlée, spices and tangerine citrus. The palate is coated in tropical fruits balanced by fresh acidity with a very long spicy finish. This wine pairs nicely with chicken and cream based dishes.
Pinot Noir – 2013 – 13% alcohol – $19.90
This Pinot Noir was made from grapes sources in the Okanagan Valley. It shows classic hallmark traits of fresh strawberries and brooding raspberries. The wine has juicy acidity, delicate fruits with fine grained tannins that intertwine with a hint of spicy French oak. Pairing well with lighter and leaner meats and any sort of chocolate.
Open weekly or by appointment, the winery offers a tasting room overlooking the first-planted block of grapes in the vineyard, the Etsell family’s working farm, and views to Mt. Baker.
Address: 5782 Mt. Lehman Road, Abbotsford
Hours: Friday to Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Written by Samantha Lenz. Connect with her on Twitter at @SamanthaLenz.