Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Starlight Distillery: I told you so … sort of, anyway.

Major league props to Huber’s Starlight Distillery, a division of the family’s renowed Orchard & Winery, which made the Sunday edition of the New York Times not once, but twice, and in the main section, no less!

In an article about the rise of microdistilling that begins on the newspaper’s front page, legendary local vintner and distiller Ted Huber gets a nod and a quote:

Farmyard Stills Quench a Thirst for Local Spirits, by Susan Saulny.

“There was no way for me to have an artisan distillery the way Indiana law was written after Prohibition,” said Ted Huber, who runs the Starlight Distillery on his farm in southern Indiana and who helped draft the law that was passed six years ago. “I can’t make whiskey, but can make anything that would come from raw ingredients for wine. I’m experimenting with grape vodka now.”

Mr. Huber also runs a winery, and it attracts a half-million tourists a year. But he finds that his copper pot still, imported from Germany, “is really a crowd pleaser, even when it’s not running.”

Eric Asimov, the NYT’s drinks writer, then considers several microdistilled products: THE POUR; Just Don’t Call It Scotch. Or Irish. Or Tequila.

Speaking of rugged stuff, grappa, distilled from the residue of the winemaking process, generally has all the appeal of a flame-throwing punch to the stomach. Most are harsh and unpleasant, though there are significant exceptions. A grappa made by the Starlight Distillery in Borden, Ind., is one of them. It is smooth with a fruity, floral aroma, and would be highly enjoyable after a heavy meal.

Since our visit to the winery and distillery a couple of weeks ago, I've also been praising the Grappa. I remembered the beverage from Italian excursions chiefly as lighter fluid or fuel additive, but like Asimov, I found Starlight’s version to be delicate and aromatic.

What are we going to have to do to the Indiana state law (burning it springs immediately to mind) to allow Ted to distill Hoptimus into schnapps?

Speaking of legalese, I learned earlier today that our Brewers of Indiana Guild was visiting Indiana's legislature in an effort to gain support for legislation that would allow the state's brewers to promote their breweries on state highway signage. It's something that wineries have been doing for two decades, but is currently denied to breweries under the wisdom ... well, under no discernable wisdom whatsoever.

No comments: