My friends Norma and Don Connick and I left Eastend this morning bound for Maple Creek where we enjoyed a great meal at the Star Café & Grill. This café has earned an excellent reputation and certainly deserves a visit if you're within a few hundred kilometres of Maple Creek.
Yes, a winery in southern Saskatchewan. A winery that opened on June 1, 2007, and has since won an award for the best new business in Saskatchewan. A winery that sold 16,000 bottles of wine last year, their entire production. A winery that grows grapes and other fruits for its wines and uses wild berries as well.
Don and I inspected the vineyard and the garden area. We didn't recall learning about growing grapes in Saskatchewan when we attended the College of Agriculture just a few years ago, but we agreed that innovators like owners Marty and Marie Bohnet, former ranchers who describe their incredible adventure as 'A hobby gone bad' , have created an amazing business in a short time.
The Winery Bistro Bar serves sandwiches, cheese trays, desserts and wine by the glass. We chose to have coffee and saskatoon pie. For those of you who know me that's no surprise. The pie was delicious. Later I sampled a few wild saskatoons from a tree beside the parking lot, but only a few: the saskatoon season is just beginning and those who will visit the winery tomorrow may be eating pie made from the berries on that tree and others nearby.
We sampled the five wines that are currently in stock and bought some for ourselves and some for friends. Several of these wines sold out last year in a short time.
We enjoyed our visit and our chats with Marie Bohnet and the helpful and enthusiastic staff. We'll be back.