Fort Berens Estate Winery announces Lytton Strong fundraiser

May 10, 2022

Fort Berens Estate Winery has produced a Special Edition Lytton Strong Pinot Gris made exclusively with grapes from Lytton’s Winch Spur Vineyard, from which 100% of the proceeds would be donated to the recovery and rebuilding of Lytton.

Almost one year ago, on June 30, 2021, the beautiful Village of Lytton, BC was destroyed by a wildfire that swept through the town with such speed and fury, most residents didn’t have time to grab much, if anything. Only a few things in Lytton were unscathed by the devastating fire. One of those was a small vineyard on the opposite side of the Fraser River called Winch Spur Vineyard. Owners Chuck and Nonie McCann farm this small vineyard planted in Pinot Gris grapes.

“As our winery is based in Lillooet, Fort Berens Estate Winery has a deep connection to the people and community of Lytton,” says Rolf de Bruin, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Berens. “Since the fire, our team had been looking for ways to be a part of the community rebuilding efforts. On harvest day, just a few months after the fire, while driving from Lillooet to Lytton, the Fort Berens team, deeply moved by the devastating loss in Lytton, crafted a plan to launch a fundraising campaign.

“These Pinot Gris grapes from Lytton escaped the fire, and became grapes with a special purpose.”

Fort Berens has partnered with Winch Spur Vineyard and TricorBraun, Elite Print Services, and Artus Bottling on the fundraiser.

120 cases (1,440 bottles) of the Special Edition Lytton Strong Pinot Gris will be sold during the fundraising campaign period of June 3-12, 2022. In addition to wine sales, there will be a silent auction with unique and experiential items, a 50/50 raffle, and the opportunity to donate directly to the campaign.

“Our goal is to raise $125,000 during this fundraising campaign,” says Rolf. “Our desire is to have these funds go towards a dedicated legacy building project for the community of Lytton. We are currently working with Mayor, Council and Staff at the Village of Lytton on this. Our desire is to help build a legacy community project that would be a central gathering place for the community.”

On the April 27 meeting, Council direct staff to report on the maintenance costs for a new recreation centre in anticipation of the Fort Berens Winery donations.

Winch Spur Vineyard September harvest at the Winch Spur Vineyard near Lytton.