The Distilling Parallel

I’m interested in wine styles that show the raw fruit best. The wine is always valid if its pure, nothing but the grapes, not messed with.

The best of them find practical use of biodynamic farming that requiring fine attention to detail not only in the cellar but the overall vineyard maintenance. From early on I was convinced, and soon sure it wasn’t a coincidence. I noticed those that weren’t altered always had a little something special going on. Aromas were always more revealing, more profound, you would also notice the taste would always linger a little longer.

So the best thing about wine to me is seeing the vineyard site come through with out anything getting in the way, preserving key characteristics that define a region or specific microclimate. We have the same parallel in spirits. When using a high quality organic substrate whether it’s cane, specific grains or grape varietals they will always translate through the still with a little more character and seemingly with a little more life. The main reason I shy away from so2 additions in winemaking is because I find it to bleach out the fine aromas. So when not using it all the movements are organized carefully and in the best instances you can capture its full potential. In wine we guide the fermentations to find proper tannin and color levels that help balance it’s antioxidative strength. There is also a window of opportunity to shape the aroma and texture during the pressing of the grapes- for instance harder for harder tannin, or the choice to work in a more oxidative way.

I see similarities making cuts at the distillery-the subtleties are similar to wine but when cutting a spirit there is a smaller window to get it perfect. What I can take with me is knowing that when everything going into the still is clean it will shine through in the product stream beautifully. This key sequence in distilling shapes the overall spirit and finding that sweet spot makes all the difference. It reminds me of pressing grapes during the harvest season and reminds me of how much gravity there when making wine considering there is only one chance a year to get it all right, one chance to ferment and one chance to make those press cuts. A distillery is always in production, always making cuts, arranging the movements for aging or working to make something for a fresh day.

This is what I find attractive, when raw character comes through; whether that be during a rum run, in a specific single malt or even the infinite amount of possibilities that can come from botanical distillates. There is so much to capture.

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