What do you get when you mix grapes sourced from all over the world & a garage off Macleod Trail? Not only a unique concept in Alberta, but one that is more than deserving of a single visit. We recently checked out City & Country Urban Winery, & we only have one question in mind- when can we go back?
Created by the husband & wife team of Chris & Karen Fodor, City & Country has been making wines for over 4 years, but has really only shown its full potential over this summer. By adopting a ‘garagiste’ (more on that in a second) approach, they’ve created the perfect blend of approachability & delicious products.
First, the wine. Using a combination of minimalist techniques with state-of-art technology, City & Country is creating reds, whites, rosés & whatever else they dream up. And because they don’t rely on a particular vineyard for their grapes, you’re just as likely to find a Californian white as you are a merlot from the Okanagan or, soon, a cab from Chile. What’s more, they adhere to a stringent process that avoids any added colours, flavours or sugars. As wine-lovers ourselves, this is music to our ears.
Luckily you can get some of their wines at liquor stores around the province [link]. What really impresses us about this concept is the experience. By foregoing the pretension of traditional wineries, City & Country lets you enjoy incredible wines in a relaxed atmosphere, with knowledgeable staff members that want to help you pick your favourite, not talk down at you because you didn’t know what hour of the morning those petit verdot grapes were harvested. And we’ll admit it- that’s why most of us would rather slam a can of middle-of-the-road lager & pretend to like it instead of hitting a wine bar.
Back to that term, ‘garagiste’. As the true predecessors of urban wineries, the garagiste movement was basically all about people making wine that they liked, so that they could show it off to people who wanted hyper-local wines. And while the term is more or less interchangeable these days, we think City & Country is the perfect example of it. Does knowing about this make the wine taste better? Maybe not, but bring it up during a tasting & get ready for a fun conversation with your host.
And of course, City & Country doesn’t shy away from hosting larger events and one-off experiences. Are you trying to plan the perfect bachelorette or birthday party? Skip the usual fare & have a blast learning about incredible wines, without having to leave the city. Ready to try your hand at actually making wine? They even offer workshops, grape stomps & classes for the devoted few.
After our experience here, we may just have to sign up for one!
Where: 544 38a Ave SE