Mulher Velha Aguardente
Portuguese Style Brandy
The Portuguese don’t like to waste anything, whether it’s food or wine, which is how the production of Aguardente D’uva originated. After the wine-making process, leftover grape skins are put into copper stills and distilled to reach an alchohol percentage between 37 and 52%, but that’s only if the bagaco is meant to be sold. Most locals, especially in the small towns and villages, know of at least one person, adega, café or tasca where they can enjoy the potent stuff.
Mulha Velha Aguardente is influenced by old world tradition from my childhood home on the Island of Pico, Part of the Azores Islands in Portugal. We combine two styles of this spirit: Vinica, which is distilled from young fresh wine, and Bagaceira, which is distilled from pomace (pressed grape skins). We use pomace from choice vineyards of Edna Valley on California’s Central Coast. We process it immediately after the pressing to capture delicate flavors. Only destemmed grapes make it into our traditional Copper Pot still in order to avoid any hint of wood alcohol. Both Vinica and Bagaco are blended together, then aged in fine oak barrels.
A sue saude! Cheers!