Hi all! Another perfect day in the Finger Lakes, this Saturday, August 30, 2014. My apologies for not checking in more often. We tend to share a lot of what's new here via FaceBook, but I realize that not everybody has access to or is interested in FaceBook. So for all of you who have felt left out of the loop, here's a little update on what is new:
As many of you know, Montezuma Wildlife Refuge has been vital in the work to bring back Bald Eagles to New York State through their Bald Eagles Restoration Program, which was established in 1976. Thanks in large part to their efforts, we now have Bald Eagles nesting in various spots along Cayuga Lake and its shores (along with many prominent Osprey nests, which can be found along both Route 90 and Route 89 on both sides of Cayuga Lake, as well as along back roads a few miles from the shore). We have been fortunate to see both a pair of young eagles circle over and pass by our distillery on several occasions as well as a mature (three years or older) Bald Eagle circling low over our farm pond and the distillery. If you have not seen a Bald Eagle up close, with its wide, white tail band and white head flashing in the sun, I assure you it is a sight to behold with awe and respect, not only for the bird or species itself or for it having overcome near extinction to a position of solid re-establishment, but perhaps equally so for what such a bird and its recovery represents: hope, promise, and community.
Hope, to the extent that we (one would hope!) want and expect that we can come together at a common table to partake of the bounty that we have worked to produce, to aspire to soar as one like the Eagle that represents us (in this nation anyway). Our nation in many ways has become more and more polarized and the nations and tribes and lands of which we altogether comprise Earth's people seem ever more at mistrust, violence, and war. Perhaps I'm a pollyanna, but I am inclined to see the success of our Bald Eagle as a sign of survival and sustainability, actualized by the promise--the known potential--of the love, goodwill, and creativity within us all. The promise within us as individuals to survive, thrive, bloom, and seed as flora and fauna do; and, the promise among us as communities to recognize the ties that bind, to stand up against that which divides, to lend our hands to those in need, and to feed those endeavors that stand to bring us all as one from the spector of extinction to the reality of fruition.
If we can save the Bald Eagle, we can save ourselves.
On a lighter note: many of you may be happy to hear that we have Cayuga Gold back in stock (our first batch sold out in less than two months). If you have not tried this, our barrel-aged gin (seasoned in our own previously used John Myer Whiskey barrels), please do come in to taste it! Also, we will be bottling another batch of Rye next week (produced at 70% rye grain rather than 56% rye grain) and should have it sealed, labeled and on the shelves by Thursday, September 4th. It's beautiful and sings Rye. We are still in limited supply of our John Myer Bourbon (almost sold out), but there are a few bottles remaining for sale in the tasting room only. We may bottle a small new batch in late September. For all you Ginger Vodka fans, we are on our last case of 375 ml bottles, but we are once again increasing production this fall and will have plenty again in December (and we have plenty currently still available in 750 ml bottles). For all you whiskey lovers: we plan to have a New York Straight Four Grain Whiskey (Single Barrel) available in late February! And I'm working on trials to produce two more flavored vodkas (details forthcoming) that hopefully will be available in February or March.
In other news, one of our own, Darlene Zaharis, has been hitting the road meeting wonderful new folks (and following-up with old friends) who would like to carry our spirits. We are now or soon to be represented in Auburn, Syracuse, and Lansing, among other places. I will try to update sooner, rather than later, the list of specific locations where we can be found.
In exciting news: we have the support of a wonderful associate producer at CBS who is interested in featuring us in a documentary about craft whiskey production.... We are still getting to know each other and are only in the development stage, so this is just a note of fun and excitement and hope in action. We would be honored to share a bit of ourselves and the process of whiskey making, from conditioning the soil to planting the seed, to harvesting, mashing, distilling, and eveything in-between, including the glue of personality, life, love, creativity, and community in the Finger Lakes that holds us together, warts and all.
Finally, for now, please save Saturday, October 4th on your calendars for our 2nd Anniversary Party! We will once again be featuring specialty cocktails and local food flair provided by The Stonecat Cafe as well as excellent music by Cat's Elbow! Our doors will open at 11:00 as usual, but festivities begin at noon and will go to 6:00 p.m. There will be no tickets required and no cost at the door; however, cocktails and food are provided for cash sale. I even dropped my fiddle by the Guitar Works so as to get my bows rehaired and my instrument conditioned. I love jumping in with Cat's Elbow. Great music and song, with my niece Davina as the lead singer. We hope to see you.