Saskatchewan has a number of orchards scattered throughout the province, and some of the orchards are also full-time wineries. This fall, I had the pleasure of visiting one of those wineries, found only a short 20-minute drive north of the City of Regina!
Over The Hill Orchards is an organic orchard that overlooks the Qu'Appelle Valley. As I drove up to the top of the hill where the winery was located, I was in awe of the spectacular view. The name of the orchard and winery is perfect — the view "over the hill" was breath-taking as the fall colours painted the valley. I was greeted by owners Dean and Sylvia Kreutzer who have owned the orchard for 19 years. They have grown a wide variety of fruits, some of which you wouldn't expect to grow here in Saskatchewan, such as cherries, apricots, pears, plums, peaches, blackberries, haskap, nectarines and seedless grapes.
Dean and Sylvia have partnered with the Regina branch of the Culinary Federation to host a unique supper in the orchard experience every friday and saturday from May through to October. Local chefs come to the orchard to prepare a multi-course supper using mainly ingredients from local farms and, of course, from the orchard. Each course is paired with one of the wines, and a short tour of the orchard (weather permitting) is given between courses to see how the "farm to fork" process is used. Most of the proceeds go back to the Culinary Federation to help send junior members for training in locations across North America.
On this night, highlighted local chef was Garret "Rusty" Thiense - Harvest Eatery, Shaunavon.
Be sure to put this on your list of experiences to try with your family and friends! Experience the beautiful view of the valley, go on a tour of the orchard and taste some of the best food and wine. This is one road trip worth taking that your taste buds will not regret.
For more on supper in the orchard at Over The Hill Orchards and Winery, visit: http://overthehillorchards.ca/