NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — The Niagara College Teaching Distillery made history earlier this year with the release of its inaugural product — Eau-de-vie de Fruits, Fruit Spirit.
The college launched Canada’s first postsecondary Artisan Distilling program in September 2018 housed in its on-campus Teaching Distillery — also the first of its kind in the country.
“As the first product from our Teaching Distillery, Fruit Spirit rounds out our portfolio of wine, cider, beer and spirits at Niagara College’s learning enterprises,” says Steve Gill, general manager of Niagara College’s learning enterprises.
The first class of 16 Artisan Distilling students began working the spirit just days after beginning their studies. The spirit, which started as a single batch of Gamay wine, was produced using single, double and triple distillation, achieving a different character with each distillation.
“Using Gamay from our Teaching Winery was a nice partnership that allowed the class to hit the ground running and we started mashing and fermenting simultaneously,” says David Dickson, the college’s head distiller. “Sourcing wine grapes for our first distilled product also celebrates Niagara as a wine-producing region.”