Shady Orchard and Winery is a winery in High Prairie, Alberta. They produce a vast variety of fruit wines and are available at liquor stores all over the province. I’ve been lucky enough to work very closely with William and Kristy Gordon and I wanted to share a bit about each flavour!
This wine lingers perfectly between sweet and dry. Super flavourful and aromatic; I think blueberries have quickly become one of my favourite flavour notes in wine! It is perfectly smooth. Now this is an incredibly sophisticated wine review; you know when you take too big of a sip and it makes you kind of shake your head because it’s a little strong? Not a problem with this wine! It is really enjoyable on it’s own but it would also make a fantastic sangria.
Cranberry and Raspberry
This flavour was a seasonal release over Christmas. While I wouldn’t call this a dry wine, it’s definitely not nearly as sweet as many of the other flavours. The tart flavour of the cranberries will be what you initially taste. The raspberries make for a delicious, berry after taste. This wine is the perfect blend for your holiday meals, or just for easy sipping all year round! This would make an amazing Christmas Sangria or a festive spritzer!
The cherry wine from Shady Orchard and Winery is aromatic, it’s sweet as it hits your lips but has a drier after taste when compared to some of the other flavors. I find that the Saskatoon and Raspberry flavor is like that as well; initially sweet but dry after taste/feel. I could even understand if some people might describe this one as having a slight tartness; but in a totally amazing, delicious way.
The Mixed Berry wine from Shady Orchard and Winery is a blend of blueberries, saskatoons, raspberries and strawberries – all grown right in High Prairie. Upon uncorking I didn’t notice it as overly aromatic, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have a beautiful scent, it just wasn’t as pungent; and there is no doubt that it is very flavorful. I’m not even sure which berry flavour came through the most – they all blend together so beautifully. It is a very smooth and very sweet wine. There is zero dryness and zero bitterness. This sweet berry wine would be a perfect spritzer or summer sangria.
This is one of my personal favourites that Shady Orchard and Winery has offered. Summer Berry contains raspberries, strawberries and saskatoon berries so it’s very similar to Mixed Berry but without the blueberries. I really, really enjoyed this one. It has a really great burst of true berry flavour. It starts off sweet but it definitely has a drier after taste which is something I also found with the Cherry flavour.
I was instructed to taste test the plum wine two different ways, at room temperature and chilled. I tried the Saskatoon and Raspberry at both temperatures as well and there was actually a pretty drastic difference in flavor so I was excited to see how it affected the flavor of the plum as well. As soon as I opened the bottle I noticed it was a very aromatic wine. At room temp, this wine was pretty dry compared to the other flavours but I still didn’t consider this to be an overly dry wine; and I say this as someone who doesn’t really like dry wine and still really enjoyed this one. If you are a drinker of red wine and you are accustom to the dryer wines than you will like this one. If you do not like a dry wine you may not like this. I would maybe say that it’s a little on the bitter side but I am not sure that bitter is the world that I would use to explain it. I left it to chill for a little while and I had another glass; I didn’t notice as drastic of a difference in the dryness as I was expecting but I would say the fruitiness was a little more prominent when cold. Again, if you are very sensitive to the dryness in red wines you may want to tread lightly with this one. It would be an excellent one to enjoy with a meal though if you do like red wines. They made a second batch of plum with a different type of plums and I really, really enjoyed that one. It danced perfectly between sweet and dry and was very flavourful.
The pear is another one of my favourites. This wine is best served chilled, it is super crisp and and smooth. There is a really nice balance between dry and sweet. This would be very similar to any Riesling that you drink but the pear flavor is much more noticeable rather than blending in. This is delicious on it’s own but it would also make a really amazing sangria.
The strawberry wine from Shady Orchard and Winery is the epitome of summer. Best served chilled, this wine is an explosion of strawberry flavor with a smooth, buttery finish. This wine is also very, very sweet. I drink a lot of sweeter wines, I’m a big fan of moscato, and even I will say this is very sweet. Makes an amazing summer sangria or a spritzer!
Saskatoon and Raspberry
This is a best seller at the winery. If you are a fan of saskatoons you will love this wine. I even have friends who don’t like saskatoons who love this wine! The flavour is definitely heavier on the saskatoon side with a slight raspberry tartness. It isn’t a dry wine or a sweet one but if I had to choose, it definitely tilts the scale ever so slightly on the dry side but just ever so slightly; I would compare the level of dryness to a cranberry/raspberry juice. Best served chilled, this wine is super smooth and buttery. If you are not a wine drinker, this is the wine that will get you to become a wine drinker.