Immigrating from Holland to BC and eventually Lillooet, Rolf de Bruin and his wife Heleen decided to plan and grow their own dreams with the creation, cultivation, and launch of Fort Berens Estate Winery.
“We all bring some form of passion, something unique to this community that really creates a tapestry of different colours abilities, and unique characters.”
Rolf’s passion for the Lillooet terroir and the connection to the land with the wine, the wine to the people and the people to the land shines through when talking about the region and the people, as well as those who come to visit and explore.
“I think it’s important that we understand our responsibilities towards our visitors. There’s a really nice word for it, stewardship. When we invite visitors in we have to step up and demonstrate that stewardship.”
For Rolf, showing stewardship means creating a positive experience for all visitors to the winery:
“What fills my heart, when I welcome people into the tasting room and I talk about the place, pour them a glass of wine for them to taste. They sort of take that all in and they sip the wine, and they go…wow!”
“I love this region because the people here I actually get to know and work with and build a relationship with. I’ve lived in big cities, I’ve lived all over the world…and that sort of stuff, but sometimes you hardly know your neighbours. And here in this small little community, I know a ton of people, and the things that you can accomplish together is really truly amazing.”