Did you know that there is a local winery located just outside of Sherwood Park? Barr Estate Winery has been in business for many years, and produce two wines – The Barb (rhubarb) and The Other Red (raspberry). The winery was started by Rick Barr and his wife Amy, along with her parents Mike and Jeanette Cholowsky. Rick and Amy have been working in heart research for over 20 years, and have used their scientific training to create fruity wines with an impeccable quality.
We had a chance to talk to Rick about becoming a winemaker, and he provided us with some other interesting information as well!
1) Why did you become a winemaker?
We (Amy and I) started making wines in 1990 just for a bit of fun science at home. It evolved over the years to where we became a business.
2) What is the most difficult aspect of making wine?
With fruit wines, the winemaker has the ability to choose the type of wine they make. There’s a lot of trial and error before finding what best suits the fruit. My wife, Amy, is our winemaker and an excellent record keeper so we don’t make the same mistake twice.
3) What aspect of making wine would people find surprising?
It’s really not that hard to make alcohol, but it takes time to make a nice wine. One can make excellent wine from fruits other than grapes.
4) What do you look for when you make wine?
We look for fruit that can provide a nice body and level of acidity.
5) What is your harvest process, and how long does it take?
We currently harvest all of the fruit by hand. We pick the rhubarb 3 times over the summer. It takes around a week to pick the whole field. The raspberries ripen at the end of July, We pick them for at least 3 weeks every day
6) How do you know when you’ve got a good vintage?
7) What do you like most about making wine?
It’s fun and it’s ours. Winemaking is personal. No one else makes wine the same way anyone else does.
We would like to thank Rick Barr for the chance to speak with him. Find out more information on Barr Estate Winery or book a tour and discover this winery!