He had a vision to leave the world a better place from the time he started working on his parents’ century-old farm.
By adopting organic growing practices, advancing farm innovation, taking risks when others said it could not be done, and recognizing how environmental change would provide positive outcomes for generations to come, Victor paved the way for a brighter future.
Brosseau, Alberta offers some of the best conditions for growing the finest wheat, barley, and rye, which are used to produce outstanding whiskey, vodka, and dry gin. With these fine ingredients, meticulously crafted and distilled with care, Victor’s legacy lives on.
Today, we continue to embody the same care, craftsmanship, and vision that Victor had, allowing us to bring you award-winning Victor Signature spirits. Victor’s legacy lives on, and we are proud to share it with you.
Victor’s parents start homesteading land in Two Hills, Alberta, Canada
Victor Chrapko was born September 1942, Victor grew up in a Ukrainian family of five, as the middle child (#3)
Victor began his own farm, on his own property, at a very young age. His personal style, at age 19, was passionate, big hearted, and unapologetic
Victor married the object of his desire, a public health nurse named Elizabeth, after eight months of courtship. Victor and Elizabeth had four children within the first five years of their marriage: Evan, Tonia, Shane, and Xina
After a crop failure, the family could not afford conventional chemical inputs for their grain operation. Eschewing chemical fertilizers and pesticides, Victor turned to age old, proven practices that included crop rotation
Victor’s father passed away, and he and Elizabeth moved to the original homestead. They expanded, modernized and committed to keeping the farm as an organic pursuit
The farm was certified organic in 1999 by the international Organic Crop Improvement Association (“OCIA”.) The crops they grew and produced included organic hay, fruit, berries, and honey. With the vision of adding value to the fruits in their orchard, Victor approached the provincial government to modify legislation to permit small-scale production of alcohol for public consumption
The Cottage Winery Act is finally passed.
Birds & Bees gets its license. Victor becomes Alberta’s first organic winemaker under the new regulations
The Government of Alberta awards Victor with the Ag Choices Award to recognize and honor him as the one with the vision to start this new industry
Awarded the International Organic Farmer of The Year from OCIA.
OCIA creates the Victor Chrapko Scholarship
The Chrapko family gets regulations changed to be allowed to sell alcohol at farmers’ markets, fulfilling another part of Victor’s original vision
The farm is featured on PBS TV’s “Endless Feast” in the U.S., becomes Alberta’s most famous wine
Victor’s 1999 vision comes to pass thanks to the small, young industry’s lobbying to be allowed to sell organic wines directly to liquor stores and restaurants
Now being run by Victor’s third child (and 2nd son), Shane, the farm began growing certified organic hemp well before this crop was very well known or appreciated
For the next three years the winery continues entering competitions and winning numerous awards for Birds & Bees wines. Alberta Beverage Awards, World Mead Challenge, All Canadian Wine Championships and Northwest Wine Summit
Shane expanded the brand to include premium spirits. The enterprise becomes rebranded to Birds & Bees Wines and Spirits.
The global pandemic gives Birds & Bees Wines and Spirits a social mission, shifting to manufacturing and distributing high quality hand sanitizer during the height of pandemic.
Birds and Bees releases its first line of vodka spirits under the brand name Knock’in Boots. Added an organic vodka line and ready-to-drink flavoured vodkas by year’s end
Expanded the spirits line to include rye whiskey, dry gin, rum, and spiced rum to the Knock’in Boots spirits line.
Shane introduced a premium 8-year-old Canadian Rye Whiskey under the brand name Victor Signature in honour of his father, and the farm’s founder and visionary. The Victor line includes premium vodkas and dry gin, with rum and spiced rum coming soon