On first look, the Buttonwood tasting room appears to be like many others. A host pours your tastes from a wet bar and you’re free to shop their collection of wine-country merchandise. But take a closer look at their merchandise and a revelation occurs. These are not just your typical wine country nick knacks. The winemaker takes byproducts from the vineyard and winemaking process to develop mouthwatering culinary treats that embellish your recipes and probably make you live a healthier life. For example, after the juice is pressed out of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes, she makes jelly. Chocolate sauce for your sweet tooth comes from cabernet and merlot. Who doesn’t love a little kick in their chocolate sauce!? Ever heard of green thinning? It is the process of going through the vineyard, picking any half ripened grapes that are a bit behind to ensure even ripening on the vine. Since these grapes are tart, their juice, called verjus, makes a flavorful alternative to vinegar and lemon juice in any recipe. And, yes, this winemaker makes her own verjus too!
I’d love to sit down with her and chat about her winnovations. But when is she going to find the time to do that between winemaking and leading a whole reusable vineyard movement. I’ll see if she’s got time after harvest. But, I recommend enjoying her many different styles of Sauvignon Blanc until I report back. The things I do for my readers!