“This is something really special from anywhere in Ontario. There is a freshness and concentration of aromas and flavours that make this incredibly easy to sip on its own”
Andre Proulx- Andrewinereview.ca - April 19, 2018
“The flavours are smartly balanced, with none dominating. And fans of bone-dry martinis may be happy to know this is one very dry vermouth”.
Beppi Crosariol- The Globe and Mail- March 28, 2019
A rich bouquet of florals all blend together. Lavender and lilac as well as chamomile come out on the nose. Light golden apple with sumac comes through between different flowers on each taste.
This wine was a lot of work and a lot of fun to make.
First the story behind the inspiration. When I was a kid, living at home, my mother always had gardens. She loved her gardens; she would come home every night after work and tend her gardens. They were beautiful. She always had books about flowers, herbs, vegetables, whatever it was that she was growing. It wasn't just coffee table fodder; she loved it. In my early teen years, she planted a herb garden at our house, and I started to become interested in them.
When I started building my own homes, I would plant herb gardens. At first, I started making herbal teas with them (tarragon, peppermint and honey is the favourite from my gardens). Then I started to experiment with tisanes. I found it fascinating how the various herbs impacted the flavours of the wines.
I am always researching and learning about new things and one day I was reading about Vermouth. Vermouth is traditionally a fortified wine infused with herbs, spices, flowers(and in the past wormwood). When I started reading about the ingredients used in the old world to flavour vermouth, a light bulb went off. We have either a local grower or native version of many of the traditional herbs, spices, and flowers that are used.
Once I learned this, our path was set. I started to enlist local growers (shout out to PEC Lavender for the lavender and hyssop contributions), and began to forage from our farm. We had pails and pails of lilac, juniper, chamomile, hyssop, sumac, lavender and many other seasonings steeping in the wines. We collected everything fresh and infused the wine with them.
If you're looking for amazing cocktails, use this in your wine. It's floral; it's brilliant and delicious. We use it for an aperitif and serve cheese plates with it. Spritzers are amazing or try some in a chai tea or Moscow mule. Seriously.
But to finish my story, in honour of my mother Donna who inspired my love of plants, herbs, and food I have named this offering Madonna.
Made from a blend of wines, every year we retain approximately 1/3 of inventory and blend into the new production. Think a modified solera. This helps build character and consistency.
Interested in making a refreshing beverage with the Madonna Vermouth? Check out these cocktail recipes to give you some ideas:
County Royale, Summer Breeze, The Most Refreshing Cocktail You'll Drink All Summer, Traynor's Vermouth (Moscow) Mule & Vermouth Spritz