Yesterday, as I was checking out following a tasting at Norwich Wines and Spirits, a label in the shop's Made in Vermont section caught my eye. A bottle of Caledonia Spirits and Winery Barr Hill Vodka, distilled from raw honey, came home with me as well.
This is seriously good stuff.
Operating a 'micro-distillery' on the banks of the Lamoille River in Hardwick, Vermont, Caledonia Spirits and Winery is the enterprise of Todd Hardie. Interestingly, the operation got its start in Todd's childhood hobby turned adult vocation of bee-keeping. 46 years on, after having joined forces with a local wine-maker to brew a traditionally made Mead with the honey produced by his hives, Todd added spirits to his repertoire.
Todd's craft is rooted in the ongoing history of Vermont's agricultural community and the collaboration among its farmers and producers. Caledonia's mission statement declares the intent to not only uphold local agricultural traditions but to preserve the European traditions from which they are derived. That includes encouraging organic methods and contributing however possible to the strength of the farming community at large.
In addition to the Vodka, Caledonia produces a Gin and an Elderberry cordial along with three flavored wines, Black Currant Mead, Blueberry Mead and Elderberry Mead.
Visit the Caledonia Spirits and Winery website for more information, the hours of their retail shop and additional retail locations. Or stop by Norwich Wines and Spirits on Main Street in Norwich, Vermont to pick up a sample of Todd's work.