Birds and Bees is Alberta’s first and only organically certified winery. It was founded by the Chrapkos family on their original 1927 homestead near Brosseau, Alberta.
The story of Birds & Bees begins with Victor and Elizabeth Chrapko in 1966. When they got married they receiving their first fruit trees — crab apple and pear — this was the start of their orchard. Victor would say, “If you are going to plant a tree, plant something that produces – you spend the same time cultivating, watering, tending to.”
Victor knew he wanted to make wine with all his fruit, but the regulations in Alberta didn’t yet allow for cottage wineries. He made it his mission to advocate for the industry and was instrumental in in making legal changes that allowed for small cottage wineries in Alberta in 2005 and allowed for Alberta wine to be sold at approved Farmers’ Markets in late 2008.
enSanté (the name would be changed to Birds & Bees in 2011) officially became a cottage winery in 2005 as soon as regulation changes allowed them to and they won International Organic Farmer of the Year award in 2008. The Chrapko family orchard has expanded since their organic certification in 1999 and now grow 15 types of fruit, including over 30 varieties of apples and co-exist with a small honeybee operation. All the fruit is grown, hand picked and made into wine right on their organic orchard. It is truly a labour of love.
Victor passed away suddenly in 2008 but his work and vision are carried on by his family. They now make 10 wines that range from dry to semi-sweet and their product offerings continue to grow and change. In 2013 they began growing hemp on their organic farm and launched Smokin’ in 2018 which is a hemp oil infused wine, one of only two in North America. Since late 2016 when they first started entering blind tasting competitions, several of their wines and mead have won numerous awards, both nationally and internationally.
You can find Birds & Bees products at various farmers’ markets throughout Alberta and at many of your favourite liquor stores across the province (detailed locations can be found on their website).
Did you know?
To the best of their knowledge, Birds & Bees is the northernmost organic fruit orchard and winery / meadery in the world!
Products at Market
- Organic Mead
- Organic fruit wines