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By Gail Johnson The Fraser Valley might be best known for produce like corn, berries and apples, but the region is increasingly gaining recognition for its wine. New and more established wineries are making the area a draw for those who like to sip red, white, rosé—or walnut. Walnut wine is indeed a thing. It’s the signature wine, in fact, of Langley City’s Vista D’oro Farms & Winery. That’s not to say that Patrick and Lee Murphy’s 10-acre farm overlooking the Golden Ears mountains doesn’t produce grapes; it grows many different types of vinifera grapes. But it’s walnuts that got really got the entire operation off the ground over a decade ago. The winery’s flagship 2008 D’oro, a fortified port-style wine, is a blend of Marechal Foch and Merlot, B.C. brandy, and fresh green walnuts. The walnuts grow on three mature trees that the original homesteader planted on the property…

By Kathy Mak When it comes to fruit wines, it seems those made from grapes get most of the love. But in the Fraser Valley, wines made from fruit beyond grapes, especially berries, are thriving and rising in popularity. There are nearly as many non-grape fruit wineries as there are grape-based fruit wineries, and it’s easy to see why when there’s a plethora of berry farms in the region. The first berry farm in the Fraser Valley to produce grape-free table and dessert wines was the Fort Wine Co., which started as a cranberry farm. In 2001, their winery opened on the farm and today is one of a dozen wineries, and growing, in the valley dedicated to making berry-driven wines. They are also the only fruit winery in the Fort Langley area. The wine maker, Toby Bowman, takes the lead in producing 10 different fruit wine varieties (5 table…

By Tim Pawsey Hidden in the shadow of the Okanagan, the Fraser Valley is often overlooked, but this up and coming wine region is within an hour’s drive of Vancouver. However, it’s easier to grasp the scope of the valley when approaching from the east, as the mountains yield to a vast expanse of green stretching as far as the eye can see. Nourished by the Fraser River, over the years, the fertile valley has become the Lower Mainland’s bread—and now wine—basket. And while the actual area under vine may be small, a growing number of 200 acres is divided between 32 vineyards. Pioneering, French born viticulturist Claude Violet got everything going when he and his wife Inge founded Domaine de Chaberton in 1981. They built up the vineyards and winery, and opened selling to the present owners in 2005. The key to their success was that they planted cool…