East Coast Wineries Crafting A Niche In The Vermouth Market

Posted: Sep 16, 2020

While the advent of craft, low volume contemporary Left Coast vermouth production dates to Andrew Quady’s 1998 launch of VYA, its Right Coast rise by wineries originates in 2013 from New York’s Channing Daughters initiating its VerVino line with several others south to Virginia, west to Wisconsin, and north to Vermont joining since.

“It’s surprising that so little attention is paid to a category arguably accounting for $20billion of annual global sales,” exclaimed Jared Brown, author of The Mixellany Guide to Vermouth & Other Aperitifs (https://www.mixellany.com), positing that approximately 20% of that is accounted for in the US. “With just a handful of brands raking in the profits, it’s ripe for handcrafting to take a percentage point or three and elevate the category—especially that lower ABV and gently oxidized products garner quality-minded consumer attention.”

Flying Fox Vineyard is the second of three operations belonging to the Hodson family and in 2016 became the first in the commonwealth to work with vermouth. Adjunct to FFV’s still wine portfolio are four seasonal sweet renditions of varying shades of its wines infused with local, seasonal fruits and botanicals fortified with Virginia-distilled grape brandy sold through its tasting room and to local retailers and restaurants with a little distributed to the DC metro area.

As with Flying Fox, distiller Tom Lenerz of Wisconsin’s Wollersheim Winery & Distillery sources everything from within his state’s borders for his family’s sweet white vermouth. A future exception may be an American oak-aged medium sweet red still in development, with both filling a need for its on-site cocktail program as Wisconsin’s farm law requires it to make all wines and spirits it serves. Wollersheim has since enjoyed success with off-premise sales.

By David Furer
Source and Complete Article by: wineindustryadvisor.com

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