Manitoba

Birch sap wine hits liquor store shelves

A unique Manitoba wine made from birch sap is now available on the shelves of Manitoba liquor stores.

A unique Manitoba wine made from birch sap is now available on the shelves of Manitoba liquor stores.

Doug Eryou at Bakers Narrows started to develop a wine made from the sap of birch trees three years ago.

At the time, he said, people thought he was a little odd – but now those same people are toasting him with his own wine.

With the help of a bottler in Winnipeg, Eryou had his first 1,000 litres of birch sap fermented into wine in December, and it's now being sold in liquor stores across Manitoba under the name Tansi.

Over the holidays, the liquor store in The Pas had a tough time keeping Tansi on the shelves. Eryou said the same thing happened in Flin Flon, where the new wine practically sold itself.

"What we tried to do was incorporate some of the North in it – Tansi in Cree means hello, how are you," he said. "Then the other thing we incorporated on the label was the syllabics."

After just one month, Eryou said half the first run of 100 cases of Tansi has sold. If all 100 cases of the sweet, pink wine sell, he has enough birch sap in storage to make another 500 cases.

If all goes according to his plan, Eryou hopes to sell the bottles with the bright orange label overseas.

"This product now has gone to Korea, and there's been product samplings [that] have gone to Germany," said Eryou. "Given some time, we'll have a [product] here that will go international."

Eryou has even bigger plans for Bakers Narrows: he wants to try to set up Manitoba's first northern winery to produce the wine in the tiny community, located about 615 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, near Flin Flon.

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