Forthave sources flowers from a friend in the Savoy who grows white génépi and allots them a small portion of the annual harvest (the rest goes to local producers); the distillery macerates the flowers twice before infusing them into a fortified wine base fermented from Cayuga grapes grown by Liten Buffel in Middleport, New York. Winemaker Zack Klug, who specializes in low-intervention releases, worked with Forthave to develop a cuvée that would complement the notes of elder, chamomile and papaya that are released during maceration. “We wanted something clean, high-acid and very precise, similar to Chablis. The Cayuga is lemony and high-toned with some minerality, and dovetails well with the floral elements,” explains de la Nuez.
Those pronounced characteristics are balanced with a touch of raw turbinado sugar, resulting in an aperitif that offers an alternative to the brasher, spirit-based génépy expressions currently on the market. “We wanted something lighter and delicate that could be consumed on the rocks or in a soda or Spritz,” says de la Nuez.