Artisan Spirit: Fall 2021

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eration has its own tasting room, retail store, and production space separate from the winery, the two teams work together, maintaining a symbiotic relationship. That includes trading barrels back and forth — red wine is often aged in bourbon barrels, and rum and gin are sometimes aged in wine barrels. “Growing out of a winery, our goal was always to get to brandy, as you need wine to make brandy, and we certainly make a lot of both,” said Beth Levendusky, the marketing director. “Brandy is special in Wisconsin; it’s part of our culture.” In fact, California-based Korbel reports that Wisconsin is responsible for consuming half of all the brandy Korbel makes, largely because of the state’s long-standing supper-club tradition of using brandy, rather than whiskey, in their old fashioneds. Aged brandy takes time, though, so the first spirits out of the gate were vodka and gin, made with Door County’s pure, filtered, limestone-infused waters; the abundant botanicals like juniper berries; and, of course, lots of cherries. The first brandies were non-traditional, immature ones, distilled from cherry wine and apple wine “borrowed” 76

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