Beverages that Buzz - Mead from BC


May 10, 2019

Although you may have only heard of it in stories of King Arthur’s round table and of Vikings’ feasts, mead is a beverage with a buzz that you should know about. Unlike wine, where grapes are the key ingredients, with mead, it all starts with honey.

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Meadow Vista Honey Wine

Castlegar News
March 21 2019

Mead?! Meadow Vista Honey Wines goes from Bee to Bottle to create a line of award-winning honey wines (meads). Meadow Vista Honey Wines is a quaint meadery located in Kelowna, BC on a five and a half acre farm, nestled amongst the orchards of East Kelowna. Family owned and operated by sisters Emily & Electra; the farm is home to over 100 hives of hardworking honeybees producing a light floral honey used to make their crisp and tasty Honey Wines.  

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Mead For The Ages

Kelowna Cap News
November 2018

“It’s exciting to see BC meads making such a buzz,” enthuses Emily Vanderschee, co-owner of Kelowna’s Meadow Vista Honey Wines. “We have the most amazing honey here, with lovely fruity notes and a lightness that comes from the diverse plants and flora native to BC. It always helps to start with delicious honey.”

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Okanagan Spring Wine Festival 

The New Yorker
April 2018

Over the course of ten days, visitors can partake in over 90 wine-centric events held all over the Okanagan, at wineries and restaurants in Kamloops, Okanagan Falls, Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland, Oliver, Osoyoos, and the neighboring Similkameen Valley. These include a farm-to-table lunch paired with honey wines plus a tour of the farm and the bees at Meadow Vista Honey Winery in Kelowna (May 5)

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Kelowna mead maker bringing back taste of the past

Kelowna Capital News
January 26, 2018

Mention mead and many people immediately think of the Vikings’ beverage of choice, or raucous gatherings in Middle Ages castles where cups of the thick, sweet brew overflowed.
But a Kelowna meadery is changing that. And it’s winning awards at home and abroad in the process.

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Ancient Mead is the Latest Buzz

Alive Magazine
October 1, 2016

Think about mead and likely your thoughts turn to helmet-wearing Vikings toasting one another with clanking goblets. But this honey-based “nectar of the gods” isn’t just for Renaissance Fair fans; a new generation of hipsters in love with all things craft and local is putting mead back on the trends map. 

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Bliss at Meadow Vista

August 30, 2016

I was invited to a party at a winery called Meadow Vista Honey Wines. I didn’t know what honey wine was and hadn’t yet heard of this winery, so I was thrilled to get the chance to discover another new place in the Okanagan. The winery is located in the southeastern part of Kelowna, about 20 minutes from downtown.

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Fifty honourable-mention winners for small business contest

The Globe and Mail
October 14, 2015

Meadow Vista Honey Wines was honoured to receive an honourable mention from The Globe and Mail  in their recent Small Business Challenge.

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Fall Okanagan Wine Festival Ends Sunday

The Daily Courier
October 10, 2015

Laura Dunlap of Kelowna tastes wine at Meadow Vista Honey Wines located on June Springs Road on Saturday one of the many wineries involved in the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival that runs from October 1 to the 11th. The locally made wine is made from honey, They also offers picnic lunches and people can even play bocce.

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A Kelowna Farm Tour Itinerary for the Food Curious

To Die For Vancouver, Erin Ireland
October 2, 2015

The Okanagan is such a beautiful place to visit at this time of year. I recently spent a day touring farms in Kelowna and came across a handful of gems. Here’s an itinerary for an activity-filled day of edible exploration.

Meadow Vista Honey Wines is another farm to visit, where you must spring for the honey wine or “mead” tasting. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. While you’re there, stock up on beautiful honey that was harvested in super tiny batches from the backyard. 

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Find Your Bliss at Meadow Vista Artisan Farm Winery

BC Food & Wine Trails Magazine, Blake Allen
August 27, 2015

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is not only a treat to take time to go wine touring but the added calm feel that you will experience the moment you walk in the doors at Meadow Vista Artisan Farm Winery is simply relaxing. Just minutes from downtown, South East Kelowna is a rural drive through orchards and vineyards offering one of the best views of the valley. If the country setting isn’t enough to ease your stress then a tasting of their internationally decorated honey wines, a drink which is rooted deeper in history than beer or wine, certainly will.

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Intersecting trends making mead a sales phenom, John McDonald
May 9, 2015

so is it the current Viking craze, Game of Thrones mania or just plain old hipsters that have thrust the ancient beverage mead back into the modern world?

Judie Barta isn’t exactly sure but what she does know is that she can barely keep up with demand for the honey wine she makes in her East Kelowna meadery. “Right now, that’s my entire inventory right there on that shelf,” Barta says, pointing to a few dozen bottles done up with fancy labels of what could easily be mistaken for Okanagan wine.

Except that it isn’t wine. Nor is it beer or cider or spirits, a catagorical problem that has plagued her since she opened Meadow Vista Honey Wine, the Okanagan’s only meadery, in 2009. “The question has always been where do we fit in?” says Barta, who describes herself as a serial entrepreneur who specializes in spotting trends. She certainly seems to have nailed this one, sitting as mead does right now at the intersection of some hot cultural currents.

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Meadow Vista Honey Wines raises its profile

John Schreiner on wine
February 9, 2015

Until last summer, Meadow Vista Honey Wines, which opened in 2009, was tucked away in a nondescript industrial building in West Kelownabeside Highway 97.

It was hard to make a tasting room in that location appealing. That was not doing the business any good when mead still is a hand sell in British Columbia.

After search for several years, Judie Barta, Meadow Vista’s owner, finally found a silent investor that allowed her to move from what she called “cinder block city” to an attractive cottage on a small farm in East Kelowna last summer. Even the address is appealing: 3975 June Springs Road.

To be sure, there was more traffic on Highway 97, but most of it was just driving by. Visitors may have to work a little harder to find her in East Kelowna (a good GPS will help). When they do, they will find a bright and cheerful tasting room in a garden-like setting, along with such amenities as a bocce court. 

The move also enabled her to convert from a commercial to a land-based winery license by virtue of the cultured blackberries and other fruit grown here. She is just releasing her first blackberry mead.

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Sharing Homemade Savoury Walnut, Blue Cheese Cranberry Cookies

Campbell River Courier-Islander, Doug Sloan
November 28, 2014

This time of the year it's not uncommon to be invited to one of many various parties - sometimes they are family events, other times just friends, occasionally folks we work with.

If you want a treat to take along to that house party full of wine loving friends, consider making these savoury fruit, nut and cheese cookies and serving them with sweet dessert wines. And sweet dessert wines come in an astonishing variety of styles!

By definition Mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage in which the majority of the fermentable sugars come from honey. Meads that also contain fruit are called Melomels. Melomels that incorporate grapes are called Pyments.

Meadow Vista Honey Wines 'Ostara' (666990) $21.90 is an aromatic Pyment style honey wine that is made primarily from Okanagan

Valley honey and Pinot Gris wine grapes. The dessert sweet medley of honey, pear, melon and mango aromas and flavours benefits from a little chilling and a Walnut, Blue Cheese Cranberry Cookie to show it at its best!

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Meadow Vista Honey Wines - Back in the Buzz Biz!

Food & Wine Trails Magazine, Jennifer Schell
September 9, 2014

After a heartbreaking 2013, Meadow Vista Honey Wine’s Queen Bee Judie Barta was ready to give up her dream.  Searching for investors was leading her nowhere and until one cold rainy day introduced her to her new partner which quickly led to the reopening of her honey winery and new artisan farm concept!!

Now with five beautiful acres and a tasting room/winery in the agricultural rich South-East Kelowna neighbourhood of Kelowna, the Queen Bee is thriving.  In addition to creating her award-winning honey wines, (recently at the World Wine Championships she won 91 points-Gold for their honey wine Ostara and 90 points-Gold for Cloud Horse, their traditional style honey wine, Bliss their sparkling cherry honey wine won Sliver-89 points and “Best Buy, Mabon won Silver with 89 points) Barta is growing beautiful berries.  Her farm includes organic blackberries, strawberries, as well as a spring crop of much-needed local organic asparagus.  Of course, they also make honey!
Judie’s dream to combine wellness with food and wine is finally becoming a reality.  A trained massage therapist and wellness expert, Judie still maintains a small clientele on the new farm as well as adding yoga classes. 

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Kelowna Honey Winery First to Receive BC Wine Awards, Anita Sthankiya
October 3, 2014

Meadow Vista Honey Wines has been honoured as it is the first Okanagan mead to win a BC Wine Award.

During the 2014 BC Wine Awards held earlier in the week the artisan winery received a bronze and gold medal, their first from the 2014 Okanagan Wine Festivals. The winery, located in SE Kelowna, was awarded gold for its Ostara, a pyment style blend of Pinot Gris and honey. Meadow Vista then received a bronze medal for Bliss, its sparkling cherry honey wine.

“Meadow Vista, who only opened the doors to its new winery and tasting room in February, has had a great year with two Gold and two Silver at the World Wine Championships in July and a gold and a bronze at the All Canadian Wine Championships in May,” said Sales Assistant Caitlin Dixon.

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7 Canadian Wineries We Love

Up! Magazine, Sara Samson
July 2014

Meadow Vista Honey Wines, Kelowna, British Columbia

The Okanagan has been producing amazing, award-winning traditional wines for years but there are also some unusual wineries popping up. We’re particularly fond of Meadow Vista, a meadery in Kelowna that makes handcrafted honey wines on a small family-run farm. Meadow Vista’s sparkling varieties, like Bliss (made from Okanagan cherries), are our favourites.

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Fine BC Wines for Canada Day

Campbell River Courier-Islander, Doug Sloan
June 27, 2014

Some of the wine grapes that are grown in the Okanagan Valley have more unusual fates than simply being fermented into fine wines. Although it comes in many styles, by definition Mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage in which the majority of the fermentable sugars come from honey. Meads that also contain fruit are called Melomels. Melomels that incorporate grapes are called Pyments.

Meadow Vista Honey Wines 'Ostara' (666990) $21.90 is an aromatic Pyment style honey wine that is made primarily from Okanagan Valley honey and Pinot Gris wine grapes. The dessert sweet medley of honey, pear, melon and mango aromas and flavours benefits from a little chilling -and a sliver of soft white cheese -to show at their best!

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Okanagan Wine Club
May 9, 2014

A new experience for me was the honey mead from Meadow Vista.  If you’ve stuck to wine made with grapes, this is an exciting avenue to explore for a little something different.  A step away from the traditional, or perhaps a step way back to the traditional, I found myself allured by the Ostara from Meadow Vista. There is nothing like being transported back in time through the scent and taste of spiced mead, hand seasoned with care by the lovely winemaker herself. Thanks for the experience Meadow Vista! The magic of wine will always delight me.

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Bee Joyful

Kelowna Daily Courier, Steve McCaul
May 2014

Judy Barta answers the door at Meadow Vista Honey Wines fresh-faced, wearing hiking shorts, sturdy boots and a T-shirt with Bee Joyful blazoned across the chest.

“Welcome to our modern artisan farm brand,” she says.

“People are looking for the whole package nowadays. Eco-foodies want farm-fresh, healthful, local and unique, but not dirty and dusty.”

Therefore, the new meadery, shop and tasting room at Meadow Vista at 3975 June Springs Rd. in East Kelowna has a funky wood and galvanized stainless steel exterior.

Inside is boutiquey with artful displays on shelves and a simple tasting bar to try honey wines, which are also known as mead.

“Mead has such a medieval connotation that totally doesn’t resonate with me,” says Barta.

“So we are rebranded and modern.”

First of all, Barta wants to dispel the myth that all honey wine is sweet.

“It can be, but Meadow Vista’s is not,” she says.

“Once I get people to try it they love it. You can sip it on its own, like a grape wine, or pair it with food.”

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Honey wine sweetens holidays

Penticton Herald, J.P Squire
December 15, 2013

"Everything here is real," she said. "Another word that rings true to what we're doing is authenticity, as natural and true as possible, that also meets a half-decent price point in a beautiful package with a fantastic flavour profile. All of our wines are just really yummy."

The farm produces varietally specific honey, she said.

"Right now, we have blueberry honey because that's what our bees were pollinating."

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In Focus: Judie Barta of Meadow Vista Honey Wines
December 13, 2013

Meadow Vista seeks to empower people to make healthy choices that taste incredibly good by creating exquisite honey based products in harmony with nature. Judie has built the winery and brand from the ground up and says she feels honored to have the opportunity to share her knowledge of wine, food, health and wellness, under one roof. Today Judie and Meadow Vista Honey Wines are In Focus.

What does your business/organization do? At Meadow Vista Honey Wines, we make award winning honey wines that taste like nature in a glass. Joy, Bliss, Mabon, Ostara, Cloud Horse and Libra are stories in a bottle. We use the freshest honey, fruits and spices to create world-class honey wines. New to our modern artisan farm location we will offer varietal specific honey, bees wax candles, encaustic art and in the spring we will have blackberries, edible flowers and farm grown tisanes. Most of all, I look forward to the art classes and farm picnics that we will offer in the New Year.

What is your mission? We empower people to make healthy choices that taste incredibly good by creating exquisite honey based products in harmony with nature.

What 3 qualities do you feel that your business/organization exemplifies?Authenticity, simplicity, harmony.

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Local Honey Products are Winners

Kelowna Capital News, Judie Steeves
October 30, 2013

...the mead (a fermented honey beverage) with the highest points in the show went to Judie Barta’s Meadow Vista Mabon, of Kelowna.

It also won first place for metheglin or spiced mead, and Meadow Vista’s non-carbonated sweet mead, its apricot, took first place as well, tied with Planet Bee Honey Farm and Meadery in Vernon.

In the non-carbonated dry mead category, Meadow Vista took first place for its Libra honey wine, while Planet Bee Meadery took second and third place.

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Award winning meadery moves to Kelowna
October 7, 2013

Meadow Vista Honey Wines, North America's premier meadery and premium sparkling honey wine pioneer, is moving to Kelowna.

"I am joyful about finding the perfect location for Meadow Vista's modern artisan farm. The location on June Springs road is perfect for us and with over five acres of land, there will be plenty of room for expansion, both for the winery and the bees,"  Judie Barta, Queen Bee of Meadow Vista Honey Wines.

Meadow Vista Honey Wines has been making hand crafted honey wines since early 2009. Their mission is to empower people to make healthy choices that taste incredibly good by creating exquisite honey-based products in harmony with nature. They have been recognized both nationally and internationally with awards such as Best Winery at Winefest Calgary and Winefest Edmonton, and Gold at the Mazer Cup in Boulder, CO.

The new plans call for a large cellar, a gravity fed honey production facility, a tasting room and a storefront for purchasing wines and other bee-inspired products. The farm presently has half an acre of blackberries that will be used in a special wine to be released next year. The first stage of the landscape includes an edible flower garden, which will be a great place for bees as well as a new colorful offering for local restaurants and eco-foodies. Construction is expected to be completed by December 2013.

"Our business and products are based on sustainability and educating people on what is happening in the world of honeybees," explained Barta. "Honeybees are facing mass die offs due to mites and CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder. CCD is when entire colonies disappear. As of yet, we do not know how to stop these things from happening. We hope to raise awareness about how to best support honeybees, beekeepers and scientific research. Without bees to pollinate our crops, the world is in big trouble."

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