Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cypress Hills Winery

Saskatchewan's only winery (unless someone somewhere has started up one that I haven't heard about).  It is tucked into the rolling prairie hills about 30 kms/15 miles south of Maple Creek, SK.

When I meet my friends at Cypress Hills for a few days camping (almost yearly), one of the first discussions Dorothy & I have is "What day are we going to the winery for lunch?"  It's always a short discussion, really.  Answer:  "Tomorrow!"  Just love the place.

The winery opened in 2006.  We visited that summer, and almost every year since.  The landscaping has grown up beautifully.

Marie & Marty Bohnet were local cattle ranchers who grew grapes and made wine as hobby.  When the 'mad cow' thing closed the US border to Canadian beef, they were forced into making a decision.  They chose to get out of the cattle business, built the winery and haven't really looked back since. 

They also have a delightful bistro.  Best saskatoon pie with ice cream anywhere, bar none.  The roast beef sandwiches are yummy with a broccoli salad on the side, somewhat washed down with a glass of chilled rhubarb wine....can you tell what I usually order?  Dorothy always has a wrap of some kind with a fresh garden salad. 

After lunch we wander around the grounds and remark on the development of the landscape since we were last there.  

It is a very lovely place to spend a warm, sunny Saskatchewan afternoon.

Into the vineyard.  Most of the wines produced by this winery are made with local fruits such as saskatoon, chokecherry, and my favourite, rhubarb, blended with grape wine.

I'll let the signs tell the story.  (Click on pix to enlarge, if you want to)

Winter hardy varieties, some of which were created in Minnesota - possibly at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  Read Troutbirder's great blog post about that place.

It's a little different from the wineries in BC, Ontario and California.  

It must be rather back-breaking to harvest these!

Watering.  I thought grapes would need more water than this, but then, the best vineyards in BC and California are in dry, hot, semi-desert regions.

As mentioned above, some other types of fruit grown

 My favourite wine is the Rhubarb White wine blend (on the right).  It's a refreshing  medium dry white.  Excellent to sip on a hot summer afternoon.   I also like the Saskatchewan Sour Cherry - a medium dry red with a spicy aftertaste.  This one suits me nicely on a chilly Fall evening.  I brought home some of both.

Check out the winery website:


  1. Thanks K. Gotta check this place out. Hope they're open in the fall and spring.

  2. That Ruhbarb wine sounds yummy!

  3. Neat post Kathy. Some enterprising people are starting up a winery near our little town as well. And some people think it might be too cold here. Not when it can be done successfully on the Canadian prairie.
    p.s. Thanks for the mention. :)