Saturday, June 20, 2009
Day 1 - 2009 Convention - American Historical Society of Germans from Russia - Medicine Hat Alberta Canada
Day 1 - 2009 Convention of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Our first convention session was a wine tasting - and wasn't in Alberta. We travelled with a bus full of 'Germans from Russia' over the provincial border to Saskatchewan's Cypress Hills Vineyard and Winery, near Maple Creek. A very enjoyable time! For once, I did try all the wines offered - which included both grape and fruit wines. I enjoyed the saskatoon berry wine the best - seems very appropriate, doesn't it? Even the wine bottle labels are striking - all done by a local artist.
The winery is in a beautiful spot, just a bit protected, I think, from the very worst weather, and the grapes are grown closer to the ground than elsewhere. Maple Creek is apparently a bit warmer than much of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta but there was snow just recently though.
This is the only winery in Saskatchewan; it's been open since 2007. Well worth a visit if you are travelling in Saskatchewan or in southern Alberta.
Plan ahead if you'd like a tour. The owners are very busy - they've sold out of wine each year since they started and now have thousands of visitors each season.
After that, we all returned to Maple Creek where an excellent German style lunch awaited us at the Rockin’ Horse Cookhouse and Bar. Again, recommended if you're in the area.
Wednesday night, the Welcome session - a Saskatoon Berry Social - featured author Faye Reineberg Holt and musican Barry Luft in an educational and entertaining multi-media presentation on western history and song.
I did like the railway related songs the best - and am bringing home Barry's CD, "Songs of the Iron Trail". (We plan to listen to that in the car on our way west.)
Everyone in the room sung "Forty Below" with feeling, but, oh boy, did that song " He Likes Hockey Better Than Me" ever strike a nerve!