Barr Estate Winery is a family business that was established 2009 just outside Sherwood Park. Rick and Amy Barr have worked in heart research for more than 20 years at the University of Alberta. They use their scientific training to create fruit wines of impeccable quality. Our partners, Mike and Jeanette Cholowsky are Amy’s parents, and we all participate in every step. Together they established the fruit using raspberries grown by Jeanette’s father. Her family homesteaded in the County of Strathcona many years ago. Her father started growing raspberries on the farm and years later Jeanette was able to nurture a few of those heritage plants into thousands that we use today. The family history makes this very special to us. Barr Estate Winery grows its own fruit, which is handpicked. We do not use any herbicides or pesticides; this has created a lot more labour, but feels it is very important. We started out being wine makers, not farmers. This aspect has certainly made for more challenges and the time it takes for the plants to be established. We also have a number of first generation fruits that we are experimenting with to create enchanting wines for you.
We believe in having a true representation of the fruit, or being “true to the fruit”. We accomplish this in several ways. Firstly, we apply cool fermentation techniques. This extends the fermentation time and helps retain volatiles and esters which translate to improved bouquet and fruit characteristics. Secondly, we do not add fining agents, sorbate, or any sulfites upon bottling.
Barr Estate Winery currently makes two very fine wines using sustainable farming practices. They are The Other Red™ (raspberry) and The Barb™ (rhubarb). We hand pick the raspberries only when they are fully ripe, almost purple. This creates a full flavour, medium bodied wine with a nice balance of acidity. It is a refreshing, off dry wine with complex aromas and ripe summer fruit flavours and is best served cool. Pairings include lamb, duck breast, roast pork, white chocolate, mango and milk chocolate. For The Barb™, we use only red rhubarb which creates a beautiful pale coral wine. This wine has citrus, honey nectar, flowers and much more. It is a medium bodied wine that has a good balance of acidity and a long finish. There is a lot going on with this off dry wine and it is best served chilled. Pairings include lamb, cold meats, Thai noodles and milk chocolate. Both wines also taste great on their own. They are available in many liquor stores, at the Edmonton downtown farmers’ market and at the winery.
Adults (must be 18 years of age or older to taste): $10.00
Children (under 18): Free
Tours and tastings by appointment only