Alaska Makes Wine!
And it’s wine you actually want to drink. Not really something I would have expected to say about fruit wine.
Our B&B hostess mentioned the Bear Creek Winery was on our way to Homer Spit. Sweet.
Then she mentioned they made fruit wine. I lost interest.
But my friend was interested in going and our timing would coincide with their free tour at 11. Now to be clear, I’m not saying fruit wine is bad, it just no longer appeals to me. I prefer dry wines and find the cloying jammy sweetness of most fruit wines to be too much for me.
But I’m always up to try new things so I acquiesced and 11AM found us at the wine Bottling Works.
Actually it was more like 10:45 which threw them off a little, especially since we were the first people. I also am not a huge fan of tours — I’ve been to dozens of wineries and the production if usually very similar.
This was worth it! Bear Creek Winery makes fruit wines differently than I was used to. They ferment all fruits and grapes separately and then they’re blended, rather than fruit extract or flavor being added to the barrel. The wines are also not aged in oak — they’re fermented, strained (especially for seed-based berries), blended, and bottled immediately.
The result, shockingly good wines where the fruit has been treated like a grape and has sophisticated flavors rather than liquid jam.
After the tour I was eager to go to the tasting room right down the road to sample these masterpieces. You can taste 6-8 wines for $5 (refunded with purchase of a bottle), my friend and I shared our tastings which enabled us a sip of pretty much all 18 wines.
All the fruit in the wines (with the exception of pomegranate) are raised in Alaska and throughout the tasting locals kept popping in with crates of rhubarb and berries.
Many of the wines were a little too sweet for me, but definitely worth tasting. Some of the highlights:
- Shirazzberry incorporates Australian grapes with an amazing real raspberry flavor — tasty and tart
- Spring Harvest is made from 100% rhubarb, not something I’d expect to like, but has a beautiful, complex flavor and is light enough for the hottest days.
- Blu Zin is not something I would want more than a sip of, but if you like White Zin, this blueberry twist is amazing.
- Pomegranate is very very sweet, but also really really good. Like tasty, healthy pomegranate juice with a little more complexity and alcohol.
- Alaskan Port is impressive. They don’t fortify it like most ports, instead they filter it 3+ times to achieve the desired alcohol levels. I liked this, and I don’t even like most entry level ports.
If you’re be in the area I think it’s definitely worth a stop, even if you’re not a fan of sweet or fruit wines!
More From This Trip
One of the Best Restaurant Views in North America
National Geographic Moment: Watching Salmon Run in Alaska
The Midnight Sun is Bad for My Health
Should You See Homer Spit?
Disappointed by the Soldotna Dump
My favorite stop on the Kenai Peninsula
Where to Stay on the Kenai Peninsula
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