Spirit Hills

Southern Alberta’s award winning winery and home of Saskwatch, Dande, Wild Rosy, YeeHaa! and Bonfire.

Spirit Hills is a family owned and operated winery in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Calgary, Alberta. Spirit Hills integrates ancient honey wine fermentation techniques with local fruits and flowers to craft modern food friendly culinary wines, among them a dry red, a medium-dry white, a semi-sweet rose, and two hailed party wines, a mulled wine and ready-pour sangria. Several of Spirit Hills wines won awards in the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 in the All Canadian Wine Competition, The National Wine Awards, the Alberta Beverage Awards, the North West Wine Summit.

Spirit Hills wines have charmed many of the top sommeliers in Canada, Japan and Europe who all have lauded the uniqueness, complexity and structure of Spirit Hills honey wines and their food pairing qualities and this short video clip gives you a current peak into our continuously expanding winery and apiary.

The story of Spirit Hills and the Bonjean’s has been covered over the past few years on television in Alberta on the Redneck Gourmet Show, in Taiwan (in Chinese) on The Borderless World (the winery section starts at 32:52) and in Belgium on Plattelands TV (in Flemish).

Spirit Hills wines are available in over 300 liquor stores in Alberta and Saskatchewan and are exported to Japan and Europe. The Spirit Hills wines are being poured at some quality restaurants as they pair beautifully with the artistic food creations of some of the best chefs in Alberta. YeeHaa! is also served at some bars and Bonfire is poured at several ski hills.

The winery is open for tastings from April until the end of October (click here for hours and directions). For a full tour of the winery you can make a reservation on this site.

So how do we create our lauded honey wines?

Food pairing wines require acidity, complexity, structure and length. In a grape-less province Spirit Hills obtains all those elements from different food ingredients.  Honey provides us with fermentable sugars, soft honey undertones and structure.  Rosehips and local berries like black currants and saskatoons provide acidity, flavour, colour and structure, and local flowers provide seducing scent and taste elements. Throw them together and you create complexity and length. Just like with traditional red grape wine, the berries in our red wine are macerated in the fermenting wine for three weeks to extract the colors and structure building flavour compounds from the skins.  Additional structure and tannin in our award winning Saskwatch wine come from our oak barrel aging program.

Antioxidants in Spirit Hills wines:

An Edmonton food lab has analyzed the Spirit Hills wines for vitamins, minerals and polyphenol antioxidants.  The vitamins were comparable to grape wine and the minerals somewhat higher concentrations.  The shocking result was the polyphenol antioxidants content: depending on the wine you would have to consume 90 to 120 glasses of red wine to consume the same amount of polyphenol antioxidants present in 1 glass of Spirit Hills wine.  This huge antioxidant concentration also explains why our wines do not oxidize after 2 or 3 days once opened like a grape wine but will stay fine after being opened for at least 1 month.

The Spirit of Spirit Hills:

Spirit Hills is owned and operated by the Bonjean family, whose lineage includes 7 generations of French winemakers with vineyards in the Auvergne, France.  Spirit Hills’ bees are sustainably managed and make their honey from the wild flowers of the pristine the Rocky Mountain foothills. In the spring of 2018 the Bonjean’s planted Alberta’s first commercial vineyard.

But Spirit Hills is more than just an artisan family winery, it is a place of magic and transformation.  Just like the bees transform the flower’s nectar into honey and the yeast transforms honey into wine, the hills transform everyone who arrives to experience their magnificence and magic.  People from across the planet have found their way to Spirit Hills to visit, volunteer and learn in the bee-yards and perma-culture organic garden.  At Spirit Hills at home, we grow all of our food, bake our bread, keep chickens for eggs and hunt with bow and arrow for our meat.  We live as closely to the land as we possibly can and our wine is crafted in that spirit.  Those who visit often leave enriched with a deeper connection to the wonders of nature and a sense of purpose and self awareness not discovered before.

We invite you to try our wines, or organize a wine tasting and hope that your visit to Spirit Hills and the taste of our wines kindles your sense of discovery, play, love and magic.

Is it sweet?  No sweeter than any other wine.  The alcohol in the wine is the result of fermenting honey instead of sweet grape juice.  After all, alcohol is always created by fermenting some type of sugar.  The wildflower honey from the Rocky Mountains adds to the structure and body of Spirit Hills well balanced and culinary quality wines.  The finished sweetness of any wine is a decision made in the cellar.  Spirit Hills honey wines range from entirely dry to sangria sweet

Spirit Hills Flower Wines

Live Extraordinary

drink Flower wine

Spirit Hills crafts one of a kind award winning flower wines that share the purity of the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and give our customers exquisite culinary wine experiences, joy, romance and relaxation befit to a truly extraordinary life.

We know how difficult and random it can be to find a truly memorable and exquisite wine.  That is why at Spirit Hills, the Bonjean’s, who hail from generations of French winemakers,  layered the flavour elements of traditional grape wine into unforgettable new wines crafted from the wildflowers of their terroir.

DISCOVER OUR WINE

Exquisite Culinary Experiences

Alberta craft, Rocky Mountain flavour!

Spirit Hills crafts a variety of seducing flower wines including red, white, rose, sangria and mulled wine.  They are each praised for their body, complexity, structure and a long velvety smooth finish from Europe to Asia and North America.  Spirit Hills flower wines are served in some of the best fine dining restaurants in the world, among them Michelin star restaurants.

 

Lingering cocktail memories

The magic of flower wine cocktails.

Flower wines create a new dimension for signature cocktails with their exquisite aroma and seducing, unique flavour.  Fine dining restaurants and cocktail bars have crafted bestselling cocktails for their discerning customers.

 

Top Sommeliers & Chefs

Give High Praise.

“The way Spirit Hills manages to craft such structure and balance with flowers, honey and berries is impressive. I thought this could only be achieved with grapes.  ” Éric Beaumard,  winner of best sommelier in France and Europe, and vice-champion of the world. Fine dining manager, Hôtel George V, Paris, France and the 3-star Michelin restaurant, Le Cinq.

 

“It is incredible how with flowers and honey you can almost reach the entire flavour experience of wine. A complex aroma, medium dry arrival in beautiful balance with acidity and lots of length.” 2-star Michelin chef Michael Vrijmoed and owner of Restaurant Vrijmoed in Belgium.

 

“Spirit Hills crafts flower wines that are truly unique in the world. We are proud to feature them throughout our properties at Pursuit Collection. Not only are the wines delicious but they tell a story of who we are and what we do best regionally in Alberta.” – Tristan MacLaggan, Director of Hospitality, Pursuit Collection.

 

“The Spirit Hills portfolio of wines transported me to my early childhood by teasing my senses with distinctive flavors and aromas inspired by nature. The perfect balance of flowers and honey makes each bottle of wine unique, memorable, and fun to pair with food.” – Christopher Pageaud,  Director Food & Beverage, Waldorf Astoria, Las Vegas.

European Heritage

Alberta Roots

Spirit Hills is family owned and operated by the Bonjean family which hails from a lineage of French winemakers with still existing vineyards in the centre of France. In 1997, they settled with their 3 children in the Rocky Mountain Foothills and have lived off the land ever since. The Bonjean’s grow all of their own food organically and can, dry, freeze and cold store it all. From their love of the land grew a most unique flower winery and flower wines, which are truly rooted in Alberta’s culture and identity. Here is a peak into Spirit Hills.

The Bonjean’s story has been covered on multiple television programs in English, Dutch/Flemish and Taiwanese (at 32:52).

The winery is open for tours and tastings.