It’s fair to say that Vintner Magazine has devoted a significant amount of space to talking about sustainability and wine-oriented businesses that are making an effort to reduce and eliminate waste.
It isn’t often, however, that one comes across an estate vineyard that produces bourbon at a distillery and repurposes old materials in the process.
Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Ohio recently took home a Best of Class Whiskey award for its Wine Barrel Bourbon at the 2022 Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition.
When making the bourbon, Gervasi Head Distiller Shae Pridemore saw an opportunity to put a unique stamp on the product while using materials that were already available in Gervasi’s winery. Pridemore integrated Gervasi’s wine and bourbon crafts by using its decommissioned wine barrels to finish aging the bourbon.
The wine barrels are selected based on country of origin and the legacy wine that last matured in the barrels. The barrels are then transferred to their distillery upon emptying for filling with a four-year-old bourbon.
Pridemore said the end result is a bourbon that carries an aroma of dark fruit, spice and oak, with a hint of sweetness, spice, grain and wine.
“I have been with Gervasi since 2020 and it is a passion of mine to produce award-winning spirits for our guests,” Pridemore said. “Our spirits are crafted with a specific attention to detail in hopes of keeping Gervasi standards above the rest. I am very pleased and honored with the competition’s results.”
The competition at which Gervasi took home Best of Class included about 2,500 entries from 10 countries and 43 states. All wines and spirits were presented blind to the panel of judges, with no indication of geography, vintage or price point.
“This honor is a real testament of the hard work and dedication our distillery team has put forth for Gervasi Vineyard,” said Scott Swaldo, CEO/General Manager for GV Destinations. “The Finger Lakes International Wine and Spirits Competition is a very highly regarded competition in the industry.”