We don't always wait years to release a wine, but with Willow, i'm glad we did. This blend is two years old; from fruit harvested in 2020. We had no idea how special it would become.
Willow is a mind-trip.
It's a lightly sparkling pét nat (Vinho Verde or Txakoli levels of bubble) so we wrote 'perlant natural' on the label. It's glittery, not fully sparkling.
What's it like? Willow drinks somewhere in between Txakoli, Limoncello and Spanish Sidra. The vibe is funky fresh, like a citrus orchard planted by a Basque farmhouse, weathered by decades of salty sea-spray.
It has underlying vibes of candied lemon rind in both flavour and aroma.
The soft bubbles elevate a unique floral mix: savoury citrus flowers and apple blossoms crushed on an orchard floor.
It's an incredible blend, and if we could go back in time we would make so much more of it.
10.1% ABV | 750mL
Ingredients: Seyval Blanc, Muscat Ottonel, Bartlett Pears. Gluten free.
Wild ferment, zero residual sugar, zero sulphur, vegan.
Strong friendships take time. And great friendships are built by great conversations.
Fermentation is a cross-species conversation between humans, microbes and fruit. But we learn more by listening than speaking. What do we hear?
The squeeze of a lemon peel. Pineapples ripening in the sun. Ocean mist on orchard leaves.
Varietals: Seyval Blanc (75%), Muscat Ottonel (20%), Perry (5%)
Vineyards: Grapes from Backus Farms in Lincoln Ontario, farmed by Douglas Backus and family. Farmed conventionally, but with sustainable practices (eg. baking soda + sulphur sprays). Deep sand. The whole clusters were hand harvested by the Backus family.
Pears from Twin Pines in Thedford Ontario. Conventional orchard. Temperature moderated by proximity to Lake Huron.
Vinification: Willow is a blend of 75% Seyval Blanc, 25% Muscat Ottonel and 5% perry, all wild fermented and bottled as a pét nat.
The grapes were both fermented on skins (7 days for the Seyval Blanc and 5 days for the Muscat). The addition of pear juice at bottling allowed for a small amount of bottle fermentation for natural bubbles.
Long ageing in glass has turned Willow into something incredible. We bottled it on October 29th, 2020, without any sulphur whatsoever. Lightly sparkling pét nat. Unfined, unfiltered.
Serving Temp: Cool. Willow is great after 1 hour in the fridge, but it doesn't absolutely need it. It invites spontaneity, and is perfect for casual picnics.