The Lineage of Botanical Wines
We call our wines botanical wines. More commonly, they're known as aromatized wines: vermouth, vino amaro, and such. This style of winemaking has a long lineage. Our work adds a chapter to the story of these wines in the Mid-Atlantic.
Botanical Wine: An Origin Story
Botanical wine begins in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where herbs, roots, barks, flowers, and fruits were (and still are) infused into tinctures as medicine. Jump forward a few centuries, and this practice made its way to the Mediterranean by via the spice trade. Europeans of the era preferred to add these remedies to sweetened wine to make them more palatable. This sparked a litany of styles of vino amaro (literally "bitter wine"). Some widely persist today, including vermouth (a botanical wine that includes wormwood) and gentiane (a botanical wine that includes gentian).
Botanical Wine on the Bar
Aromatized wine saw a second resurgence in the late 1800s as "tonics" of all sorts become increasingly popular in both Europe and the Americas. You'll find botanical wine throughout early American cocktail culture. Think of of the classics: a Manhattan, a Martinez (and later Martini), and an Adonis — all use a botanical wine as a key ingredient.
A Broken Tradition, Mended
The zeitgeist of globalization over the last two centuries has led to most of these wines being made from botanicals spanning the globe, with little geographic specificity. This approach is not only unsustainable in the modern day, but lacks the intentionality and unique terroir that defines the early genre. Our work recenters botanical wine to a sense of place. Our wines focus on the plants and flavors of the Mid-Atlantic.