OUR Alberta 2018 | Page 16

Like all great winery stories , this one begins with alpacas . That ’ s right . Daniel and Edith Zdrodowski ’ s path to owning one of Alberta ’ s first cottage wineries began when they opened an alpaca farm and U-pick fruit orchard on their 160-acre farm in Barrhead . As hard work and luck would have it , their expertly tended soil was ideal for growing high-quality fruit , and with that , the family ’ s dream of producing artisan wine became reality . Since then , the winery has become a family affair and multi-generational business . Most recently , it ’ s also become home to the Zdrodowski ’ s distillery , West of the 5th , which produces small-batch spirits made from the farm ’ s berries and fruit , all grown without the use of herbicides or pesticides .
Specialty of the House : You ’ ll definitely want to pick up some wine to take home , but while visiting the taproom , be sure to order one of the hard lemonade cocktails , made with the distillery ’ s West of 5th Strawberry Rhubarb Shine . It just might be summer in a glass .
times . 58029 Range Rd 44 , Barrhead , 780-282-0128 . shadylaneestate . com , westofthe5th . com
Alberta ’ s first craft distillery opened in 2014 and has been going strong ever since in a ’ 20s-era theatre in the bucolic hamlet of Turner Valley . Coming from farming families , founders David Farran and Larry Kerwin had a vision to use Alberta ’ s bountiful resources to create excellent artisanal spirits , and the distillery prides itself on sourcing locally farmed ingredients , including grains and potatoes from neighbouring farms . Three Point Vodka and
Parlour Gin were the first bottles offered , quickly followed by a raft of creative options such as Christmas Gin , Prickly Pear EquineOx and Single Malt Whisky .
Specialty of the House : Eau Claire ’ s Parlour Gin is a Londondry gin with traditional botanicals alongside hints of rosehip , saskatoon berry , coriander , citrus , and mint . It has won numerous international awards , including Gold in the 2018 Berlin International Spirits Competition .
Perfect Pairing : Not content to rest on their laurels , Eau Claire created their own bespoke tonic water , Eau Claire Soda Company Original Tonic , which — of course — is a perfect match for Parlour Gin .
Tours & Tastings : Tours of the distillery and warehouse , as well as tastings , are available year-round . Visit their website for dates and times . Large groups should book online or by phone . 113 Sunset Blvd , Turner Valley . 403-933-5408 . eauclairedistillery . ca
most award-winning winery , offering five table wines and five dessert wines , all crafted from fruit grown in their own orchards — there ’ s nearly a pound of fruit in every bottle !
Specialty of the House : Saskatoon berries , raspberries , strawberries and rhubarb are combined to create Bumble Berry Fruit Wine , a medium-dry table wine with a flavour all its own . “ I have a special place in my heart for the Bumble Berry because it was our first ,” says Marvin Gill .
Perfect Pairing : Break out the barbeque ! Bumble Berry Fruit Wine makes an excellent pairing for grilled meat , though it ’ s also great with pizza or Asian food .
Perfect Pairing : The café ’ s house-made dumplings and paninis go with everything on the taproom menu , but the ultimate pairing for any bottle of Shady Lane Estate wine is a pitcher and sangria fixings . Visit the website for the winery ’ s Prairie Peach Cobbler Sangria recipe .
Tours & Tastings : Stroll through the cherry orchard , tour the winery and distillery , and taste five wines and a selection of spirits for $ 10 . Taproom hours : Fridays 4-8 pm , Saturdays 7 am - 6 pm , Sundays 1-6 pm . The venue also hosts summer concerts , weddings , and corporate events . Visit the website to book dates and
In 2005 , Field Stone Fruit Wines broke new ground as the first business to be granted a licence under Alberta ’ s new cottage winery regulations , allowing growers to manufacture and sell fruit wines . The winery is a labour of love for the Gill family , who have come a long way since the early years when five partners were forced to weed a 30-acre berry field by hand in an effort to farm without chemicals . Today it ’ s Alberta ’ s largest and