Dorothy & Nikki Fry of Bear Creek Winery in Homer display a few of their vintage Alaskan wild berry wines
It may take a while for Alaskan made wines to catch up to the Great Land’s reputation for big mountains, fish, bears and moose, but the Bear Creek Winery in beautiful Homer by the Sea is off to a running start. Alaska’s climate may not allow for the cultivation of the Pinot Noir grape, but it does offer exceptional wild berry and rhubarb harvests. The idea of an Alaskan winery was the brainchild of Dorothy Fry and her husband Bill, “It’s actually a hobby gone very amuck,” laughs Fry when asked the most common question of where the grapes come from for their Bear Creek Winery, “It all started some 17 years ago when we were across the bay at Halibut Cove with friends at a pot luck and Dave Nixon brought some raspberry/rhubarb wine and my husband went nuts for it and making wine was something he had always wanted to do so 9 years ago we started making wine on our kitchen counter, and it’s just grown from their to where today our main problem is keeping up with the demand, it’s grown beyond our wildest dreams, we have had people drive from as far away as Fairbanks just to buy our wines,” said Dorothy.
According to Fry their wines are very light and true to the fruit, “We capture the essence of the fruits so when you taste the wine it is more like taking a bite of the fresh fruit rather than flavored syrup. Our wines such as the blueberry merlot are a fine dinner wine as opposed to a dessert wine.” The Bear Creek Winery is a family operation including the squeezing of the fruit that is all done by hand says Fry, “On many occasion we greet friends with arms that are blue or red to the elbow.” That’s a lot of fruit squeezing, corking, and labeling to make their production of 1,000 cases last year.
The Bear Creek Winery located 3 miles east of Homer and boasts a lovely wine tasting room and year round accommodations that feature a cedar hot tub or steam bath. “We offer the perfect weekend romantic get-a-way, you don’t have get on a plane and fly any where, just drive to Homer and you’ll feel like you’ve left the State, especially after a few glasses of our wine,” says Fry and her daughter Nikki. Photos of the winery can be found at www.bearcreekwineryalaska.com or call 907-235-8484.
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