Northern Lights Winery hoping to collect community apples to save bears

Northern Lights Estate Winery is entering its fourth season of partnership with the Northern Bear Awareness Society.
In previous years, the winery has collected more than 40,000 pounds of apples from around Prince George and donated thousands of dollars to the Northern Bear Awareness Society to assist with educational awareness and programming.
“Previous years have shown attractants such as unpicked apples and trash cans have brought bears into human populated areas,” said Dave Bakker of the Northern Bear Awareness Society. “Often this conflict creates safety risks which end up in the animal being destroyed. We would encourage people to remove attractants from their yards as they are putting their families and the animals at risk by not doing so”
This year the winery is hoping to collect 30,000 pounds to make their well know Lumiere Blanche Apple Wine. The wine will be produced this fall and be available for sale in February or March of 2019.
“The secret to the wine is the variety of apples,” said Noemie Touchette, director of operations, Northern Lights Estate Winery. “Northern apples are more fragrant, acidic, and tart which is what you want for wine making. The community has been incredibly supportive of this program and the wine is delicious.”
The community is invited to bring their picked, ripe apples to the winery during regular operational hours until September 15.
Rotten apples are not accepted and the apples must be debris free.
“To check if your apples are ripe, cut them in half and check the seeds,” said Lucas Hart, farm manager, Northern Lights Estate Winery. “Black seeds indicate they are ripe, white seeds indicate they are not yet ready. All apples are welcome including crab apples as it makes a better wine”
Those whom are physically unable to pick their own apples can be put on a list for on site picking by phoning 250-564-1112.