It's usually a difficult topic for a distillery to talk about, but we love transparency we don't like to pretend something that we are not and we want to be very clear with our products and where they come from.
As the years pass we understood one thing very clearly: We are really good at making Grape Brandy, and more specifically barreled aged expressions.
This meant going over all of our current products and making some decisions. From our Ouzo to our Rakomelo and Mastiha.
See, the way that we distill our brandies (see our previous blogs Part 1 & 2), there are done in a certain style that requires the barrel component in order to develop into something worthwhile, without the barrel they are still undeveloped, young and a bit harsh. We felt that it would be a shame to take great grapes that come to us only once a year and distill them into something that was forced and not tasted quite right.
Another big reason for our switch was our stills, although we can achieve higher proof distillations which are required by some of our products, we felt again why take such precious wine grapes and waste them by removing flavor, because the higher the alcohol or proof, the less flavor is retained.
Our stills combined when all of the hearts (the best part of the distillate) is done, it produces a perfect 55% alcohol by volume, which is the ideal entry proof for our barrels.
Looking back at 2016 when we barrel-aged our first Baton Brandy, and without any knowledge added our un-aged brandy at 55% ABV into the barrel to age, but years later discovered that its the perfect equilibrium for maximum flavor extraction for our brandy. Some call this luck, some call it equipment limitations, we call it Meraki!
As of 2020 and going forward, we will be using a combination of in house distillations and some sourced from another distillery. The sourced alcohol will be 100% Grape based, as we love the mouthfeel and flavor depth grapes bring to the table.
With that said our Rakomelo, Mastiha, and Ouzo will be moving to sourced grape alcohol as the base. However, we will still be putting our own touches on flavoring each product by following our original recipes. The process still remains the same and will be made in house.
The making of Baton Brandy + all other barrel-aged brandies coming in the future and Grappa will remain as is.