Tomorrow evening we’re launching the island’s first ever gin festival alongside our friends Roots Bev Co and lewislewis. We’ve also teamed up with the island’s two gin distilleries and our awesome friends from Foraging Vintners winery who will be launching their excting new product ‘V’ with us and the festival. They also happen turn one this Sunday… Where the hell has the past year gone?!
Last Sunday we caught up with owners Mary Beth and Ian over a few glasses of fizz in the sunshine, to talk about their new product, their big birthday bash and plans for the future.
So, you decided to launch your new product ‘V’ with us at the festival – it tastes bloody delicious by the way – can you tell us a little more about it and the inspiration behind it?
‘V’ is Sparkling Rhubarb Vermouth, a fortified wine that is flavoured with various botanicals. V uses our rhubarb sparkling wine Rhunessa which has been fortified with Seven Kingdom gin, sherry and tinctured botanicals. We use a variety of botanicals including; citrus peel, cinnamon, coriander seed, bog myrtle, and wormwood.
Being a craft winery, we are interested in developing a range of different styles of wines using our non-grape wines as a base. The name ‘V’ represents the five tinctured botanicals we used to flavour the vermouth, signified by roman numeral for five; V. Considering its potency of 21% ABV we thought it would be a nice touch that folks could order it with just their 2 fingers!
21% wowzers?! And how does ‘V’ differ to your other fizz?
V is different to our other products in that we are flavouring our base wines with tinctured botanicals. At the moment we force carbonate the kegs to render the drinks sparkling. However, the next stage in this product development is to explore making méthode traditionnelle Sparkling Rhubarb Vermouth. We are excited to find out how these will develop with bottle conditioning and aging in the bottle.
How would you explain ‘V’ to a total utter novice drinker?
If you imagine drinking the tastiest Aperol Spritz of your entire life, out on our terrace in the blazing Manx sunshine…
Looking back one year on, did you ever dream where you would be now? Has everything unfolded as you expected?
This past year is a bit of a beautiful blur. Looking back at the first 6 months from opening the bar all we can recall is that it was manic. We were learning on the job and just trying our best not to disappoint our customers or ourselves.
The past 6 months we have been in a catching up phase of trying to improve our production rates of wines and getting back to what we set out to do: make wine. Overall, we underestimated the fact we had started 2 businesses at the same time. However, we have to thank the Isle of Man for the support we received. People took time to give us kind words and gestures wishing us luck with our venture.
We received Christmas cards and gifts from visitors to our winery from all over the world and have been so fortunate that we have so many locals who come and help us in the quiet times.
It has been an incredible experience we are been so touched that the Isle of Man have fully embraced our vision!
So this Sunday is your official first birthday… Any plans to celebrate?
First Birfday! YAAAAAASSSS! We’re in an utter state of disbelief at how quickly this year has gone, so we definitely want to commemorate it!
April 1st is such a big day for us! Despite it being April Fool’s Day it is also the day we opened the Wine Bar to the public. To celebrate we’ll be throwing a bit of a birthday party with DJ Allan Vannin, cake and of course fizz!!
April 1st is also the day that we both first met in 1999, so DJ Allan Vannin will be styling some 90s hip-pop especially for the occasion!
We’re really looking forward to letting our hair down and celebrating with our new family of regulars, locals and staff from the past year.
Finally, do you have any plans for future products or further expansions?
Our future products are somewhat limitless, that’s what is so exciting! One idea that is in the pipeline, is to create méthode traditionnelle sparkling bottled cocktails.
We are fortunate that we can use our wine bar as a testing centre, so we can launch different drinks and cocktails using our wines and we utilise all feedback to see what is popular. Our wonderful FV community is driving our products!
This summer we will also be creating a line of ‘Manngría’ Pitchers; made using our base sparkling Rhubarb, Mead and Elderflower wines to create delicious flavours to be shared amongst friends.
We are also working super ahrd to have all three of our current lines of wine available for summer in the bottle.
Foraging Vintners’ ‘V’ and flagship Rhubarb Fizz will be available all weekend long at IOM Gin Fest. Last remaining tickets available at gef.im/ginfest