Images by Michele Mateus
Words by Alexis Baran
Seven years ago, Teresa Townsley and her husband Bill bought a 5-acre hobby farm in Langley, and got to work on delighting the palettes of wine lovers in BC and any visitor lucky enough to find them. From an unfenced grown-over lot next door to Campbell Valley Regional Park, the two of them have cultivated the land to mind horses; chickens; and best of all (for the rest of us), colonies of honey bees, which happen to help make some of the region’s most delicious varieties of mead.
Festina Lente’s specialty is mead, or honey wine. Although it’s made by fermenting honey, the end result is not necessarily sweet. Varieties are smooth and crisp, some with herbal and fruit infusions.
The unique coffee-infused mead, “Zephyr” and the lavender-infused “Flora” are absolute must-try flavours. Far from novelty, these meads are as sophisticated as their most traditional variety (which is the “Nectaris Deorum” mead, which translates to “nectar of the gods”).
The nectar of the gods that goes into this mead is produced on site by thousands of honey bees.
A visit to Festina Lente can also mean a visit to meet their lively horses and their chickens who are dressed up in black and gold feathers.
Herbs grown on-site are used to infuse the mead, such as the fresh ginger in “Minerva Metheglin” which pairs deliciously with many South Asian dishes, such as pad Thai.