Nine medals and three additional awards of special distinction — including “Best in Competition” — add to nine-year-old local artisanal winery’s unexpected journey to success.  



Alberta-based fruit winery Field Stone Fruit Wines is celebrating nine new medals awarded at two prestigious wine championships, The All Canadian Wine Championships based out of Prince Edward County, Ontario and The Northwest Wine Summit, held in Hood River, Oregon.

Established in 1981 and billed as the oldest and largest competition for Canadian wines in the country, The All Canadian Wine Championships sorted through over 1300 wines this year from 217 wineries to pronounce a Gold Medal for Field Stone’s Wild Black Cherry Dessert Wine (Fortified Fruit Dessert Wine category) and a Bronze for its Strawberry Dessert Wine (in Fruit Dessert Wine category.)

On May 29th, the results were in from The North West Wine Summit — the best showing ever for the nine-year old Field Stone, its 10 wines, and its on-site berry orchards. The awards included:

Bronze Medal:  Saskatoon Dessert Wine

Silver Medal:  Bumbleberry Fruit Wine; Raspberry Fruit Wine; Strawberry Dessert Wine; Wild Black Cherry Dessert Wine

Gold Medal:  Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine; Raspberry Dessert Wine

For the first time, Field Stone also received three additional recognitions from the Summit:  “The Superlative Award” for best of region (i.e. Best of Alberta) for its Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine; a “Winery of Distinction Award” as one of only 16 wineries to win two or more Gold Medals; and a coveted “Crystal Rose Award” for best non-grape (fruit) wine in the competition, again for its Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine.

It was one of eight awarded to “Best in Class” of each category of wine judged, including reds, whites, sparklings, roses, desserts, fortifieds, ice wines, and non-grapes.

“We’re thrilled,” says Field Stone co-founder Elaine Gill. “This is the first time we have won more than two Golds in single year. It’s been quite the journey.”

In 2012, Elaine and Marvin Gill’s Bumbleberry Orchards outside Strathmore was ravaged by hail storms. No small thing for a winery that depends on 80 percent of its berries coming from its own farm and adhering to strict biological farming principles. While still on the mend, the “little wine label that could” has proven award winning wine can unexpectedly come from Alberta and compete with bigger brands from B.C., Ontario, and Washington.

“Even after nine years in the business, many people are still surprised to learn we can make wine in Alberta,” says Marvin.

In 2005 Field Stone Fruit Wines was the first business to be granted a license under the Government of Alberta’s new cottage winery regulations, allowing fruit growers to manufacture and sell fruit wines. Since then, they have gone on to win more than four dozen awards across all 10 of its fruit and dessert wines and have grown from farm-gate sales, to farmers markets, to now being available in over 100 retail stores across Alberta.

“People are curious about fruit wine,” explains Elaine. “We get a lot of questions about sweetness, what to pair them with, and how to drink them.”

“Dessert wines are sweet, of course,” adds Marvin. “But several of the fruit wines are off-dry to medium-dry, meaning they can compliment everything from BBQs to burgers to pork tenderloins. Perfect for that summer in a bottle feeling all year long.”

Recently, at Medicine Hat’s Sunshine Skillet Food Festival in April, Field Stone’s Cherry Fruit Wine and Saskatoon Berry Dessert Wine were elements in the “Chefs’ Black Box Competition Series.” The winning dish by Chef Todd Lindsey – as judged by John Jackson and Connie DeSousa of CHARCUT and Michael Allemeier of SAIT’s Culinary Program — featured New York Steak with jalapeno aioli, a warm potato salad, and an onion relish made from Field Stone’s Saskatoon wine.

“We are so pleased to see our wines used in creative, upscale, culinary ways,” says Marvin. “They are a unique flavouring agent as well as special sipping all on their own.”

This season, Field Stone has been busy educating clients and posting recipes on their website for colourful cocktails, summery Sangrias, and even sauces, vinaigrettes, and desserts featuring fruit wines. Field Stone’s Facebook page now boasts almost 1200 fans.

“We are getting a great response,” says Elaine. “People really want to know about this alternative to grape-based wine and support something local.”

For more information about Field Stone’s wines and where to buy them, including direct from its website, visit:


In 2005 Field Stone Fruit Wines was the first business to be granted a license under the Government of Alberta’s new cottage winery regulations, allowing fruit growers to manufacture and sell fruit wines.  Since July 1st, 2005, Field Stone has been a popular destination drawing visitors and customers from around Alberta, Canada, and beyond.

All Field Stone wines are vinified from 100-percent Alberta-grown fruit, 80-percent of which is grown on the Gill family’s Bumbleberry Orchard. Field Stone’s winemaker is Dominic Rivard, a noted world expert in fruit wines.  Since 2006, the winery has been distinguished with more than four dozen awards and medals across its 10 varieties of fruit and dessert wines.  Field Stone wines are available at selected Farmers Markets, direct from the winery, year round on its website, and at retailers across Alberta in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Banff, and more. At this time, the wines are only available in Alberta.

For more information visit



The North West Wine Summit held in Oregon, USA, is one of the region’s oldest and most popular contests. Six panels, including 24 judges from all over North America, gathered this spring at the La Centre in Naramata, British Columbia and then at Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Oregon to judge 942 wines from the Northwest, including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, Alberta and Montana.

Twenty eight judges included winery owners, wholesale buyers and sellers, restaurant and wine shop owners, wine writers and others connected to wine drinking, serving, making and selling.  Judged on a 13-point scale, the only requirement of each entry is that it be made from grapes or fruit grown in the Northwest and commercially available for purchase. The purpose of the festival is to raise awareness nationally and internationally of the quality of the wine from this region of the world.

For more information visit



Established in 1981, The All Canadian Wine Championships remain the oldest and largest competition for Canadian wines. Wines are critiques by a panel of writers, Sommeliers and wine educators from across Canada. Awards are delivered in Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories for the top 10% in the flight, as well as”Double Gold” for Best of Category. All manner of wines are judged including grape wines, soft and tree fruit, ciders, and meads. Open to all commercial Canadian wineries, whose wines are 100% Canadian content and produced. The competition is held in Prince Edward County Ontario. After judging, there is a public walk-about featuring the wines from entries submitted.

For more information visit

MEDIA CONTACT                                                         FIELD STONE FRUIT WINES

Kirsten Bolton, Commotion Media Group                        Elaine Gill, Partner

Cel: (403) 604.5318                                                        Cel: (403) 660.6146

Email:                     Email:

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Photo by Danuel MacKenzie


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