Sure! Alberta is well known for the Rockies, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. Although abundant with lakes, its climate is described as “continental “, meaning cold winters and hot summers. Warmer winters are occasionally experienced with the arrival of chinook winds.
These cold winters and hot summers are not ideal for growing wine-producing grapes. And because we automatically associate wines with grapes, Alberta does not come to mind when we talk of wineries. Enter a few creative locals, who produce wines from various alternative ingredients. Berries, particularly Saskatoons, easily cultivated here are one of the favourites. Flavours are infusions of various berries, rhubarb, rose petals and yes, even dandelions! Mead or honey wine is also produced here by a couple of apiaries.
We did some research and uncovered some of Alberta’s wineries, which boast organic and local ingredients. You will see their passion shine through the description of their ingredients, production methods and creations.
Spirit Hills Honey Winery
Mead, made of honey from bee hives that thrive on wild flowers in the foothills, can’t get any closer to nature than this. Their products are available in Alberta and Saskatchewan (and Japan, should you happen to visit there). Find out more about Spirit Hills.
Field Stone Fruit Wines
This was the first licensed Alberta estate winery. Berries grown under “biological farming principles” are used to make their wines. Visit here for more information on Field Stone and a complete listing of the liquor stores and farmers markets that carry their wines.
Barr Estate Winery Inc.
Sherwood Park, AB
Currently, this winery has 3 products, The Other RedTM, made from raspberries, The BarbTM, made from rhubarb and The RhubyTM , made from the combination of strawberries and rhubarb. They are carried by liquor stores in eastern and northern Alberta.
Shady Lane Estate Inc.
Barrhead County No. 11, AB
Shady Lane makes artisan-style wines from strawberries, raspberries, and Saskatoons, which are grown sans herbicides or pesticides. Quality is the integrity of their products, so only small batches are made at a time.
Chinook Honey Company & Chinook Arch Meadery
Mead made here comes from non-pasteurized and non-filtered honey. The bees take nectar from alfalfa, clover and Alberta wildflowers. Other honey products are also available at Chinook Honey Meadery.
Water Valley, AB
Established in 2010, Fallentimber, has hives of bees that take nectar from wildflowers and clover at the Alberta foothills. It is the maker of Meadjito, mead blended with refreshing citrus. Check out their site to find out where you can get their wines.
Perhaps you have already tasted some of the products from these wineries. If you haven’t and would like to, take advantage of their wine tasting tours. So travel Alberta this year and celebrate our wineries. Cheers!