Home to Canada's Largest Grapevine
Lloyd Schmidt, a leading Canadian viticulturists, has declared the Himrod grapevine at SpringBreak Flower Farm to be the largest grapevine in Canada, if not North America. The vine originated from a crossing of two varieties; the ONTARIO and THOMPSON SEEDLESS released to the public in 1952. Lloyd and his family have been in the grape and wine business for generations. His family owned a vineyard in Kelowna, which was one of the largest vineyards in the Okanagan at the time and he later started Sumac Ridge in Summerland. Lloyd has since relocated to Ontario and with his sons runs Vineland Estates Winery in the Niagara Region. Lloyd was brought to SpringBreak by a friend while travelling in Alberta a few years ago. "I was just flabbergasted with what I saw,” said Lloyd.
With a girth of 30 inches and covering approximately 2,800 square feet, Lloyd also said its one of the largest vines anywhere in Canada and has survived because it hasn’t been subjected to the harsh Crowsnest Pass winters. There are vines grown in greenhouses in Quebec and New Brunswick, but none of them get anywhere near the size of this vine. As well as its protected environment, Lloyd said the vines are also very vigorous. Their success is due to the unique combination of parentage - the flavour comes from the Thompson Seedless, while the Ontario contributed a degree of hardiness that the Thompson Seedless doesn’t have on its own.
Sparwood has its truck; Vegreville has its egg. Now Crowsnest Pass has its grapevine. Visitors to SpringBreak Flower Farm often remark on the large vine with the lush green foliage spreading overhead. In summer, the vine is a welcome respite providing a canopy of cooling shade. And oh, those grapes - all 600 pounds of them are the juiciest, most mouth-watering globes of perfect sweetness you find.