Artisan Distilling

Production of distilled spirits is a very old process and a natural complement to the production of quality wines and ciders. Small batch distillation is widely known and practised in the wine regions of Europe, but it is a very young industry in North America. In recent years there has been a rapid increase in the production of artisan spirits and regulatory changes in the last 4 years have made it easier for Artisan Distilling to grow in B.C.

Pot stills can produce clear and colourless fruit brandies and eaux de vie or white spirits from grains, such as vodka or gin. When white spirits are stored in oak barrels they can take on a caramel colour and flavour components as with Cognac, Calvados or whiskey. In addition, creative winemakers can use the spirits to fortify their wines to make products similar to Port.

In 2007, the Wine Islands saw the addition of three producing Artisan distilleries. Matt Phillips of Phillips Brewery built his still. Ken Winchester of Winchester Cellars (now operating as Victoria Gin) and Rick Pipes of Merridale Ciderworks each purchased handcrafted copper stills from Germany and have been busy making Brandies and Grappas from their award winning wines and ciders.

The Wine Islands look forward to the growth of artisan distilling and the production of high quality spirits from the healthy and natural ingredients of our region for you to enjoy.

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