deVine Thoughts

July 29, 2008

En Santé Organic Fruit Winery

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:18 am

En_SanteAuthors: Tonia Chrapko, Dirk Chan

Once upon a time there was a pig farmer who had no more pigs… but he did have Alberta’s first certified organic orchard.  This pig farmer also had a 10-year basement hobby: making wine.  One day, while looking at the abundant fruit crop, he got to thinking, “I could make a lot of fruit wine…”  So, he talked to his MLA, about getting the government to change its policies and allow cottage wineries in Alberta. It took four years, but finally in 2006 the laws were changed and voilá, Alberta’s first and only organic-fruit winery emerged from the basement into full light. En Santé Winery, started by Victor and Elizabeth Chrapko, is located just 1.5 hours east of Edmonton between Two Hills and St. Paul, near Lac Santé.  It is a unique, innovative example of value-added farming.  Victor was nominated to the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2007.  Also in 2007, his winery won the AgChoices 2007 Best Practices Renewal Award, a joint federal and provincial initiative in Canada.  Their orchard is Certified Organic through OCIA International, one of the world’s oldest, largest and most trusted leaders in the organic certification industry.

Surprisingly, the wines are not as sweet and syrupy as many people expect when they hear “fruit wine”…in fact, the Campfire Wild Cherry is a 1 on the dryness scale and the Adam’s Apple is a 2.  Raspberry Delight and Saucy Saskatoon are 4, Calypso Rhubarb and the intriguing Green Envy (just to illustrate what an ‘out-of-the-box’ farmer Victor was, he created the world’s first alfalfa wine, made, of course, with organic alfalfa)  is a 6; and Mellow Gold Honey is a 10.
  We are saddened by Victor’s passing earlier this year – in August, CBC radio is airing a story about him – a man who did so much for others and the community at large.

Please visit deVine this coming Saturday, August 2nd between 11am and 3pm to sample the En Santé fruit wines with Victor’s daughter, Tonia Chrapko. Try an experimental blending of several of the wines and chat with her regarding organic fruit wines and the Ten Mile ‘Buy Local’ trend. For more information on the winery, visit

To learn more about organic certification, visit

2006 en Santé Wild Calypso Rhubarb – $21.99
2006 en Santé Wild Cherry Campfire Strong – $21.99
2007 en Santé Raspberry Delight – $21.99
2006 en Santé Adam’s Apple – $21.99
2006 en Santé Saucy Saskatoon – $21.99
2006 en Santé Alfalfa Green Envy – $21.99

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