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When life gives you smoke-tainted wine grapes…make whiskey! Following the devastating wildfires that tore through Oregon in 2020, Patricia Green Cellars was left with 12,000 gallons of smoke-tainted Pinot Noir grapes. Rather than chalk it up as a total loss, head winemaker Jim Anderson got creative. Teaming up with local Oregon distillery Big Wild Spirits, Anderson decided to see whether a palatable spirit could be made from the ruined grapes. What began as an experiment has resulted in two products, Multifarious and Purple Karma Pinnacle (both brandy/whiskey blends) which are marketed under the label Patty Green. Bottled at 98 proof, Multifarious is a blend of 80% malted barley distillate (‘whiskey’) and 20% brandy, with notes of dried fruits earthen spices, molasses, tea, oak, and ginger snaps on the palate. The barrels used to house the blend, including ex-Pinot Noir casks, were sanded, toasted, and charred to remove any trace of the wine.

Purple Karma Pinnacle, named after the barley type used in the whiskey mash bill, was aged for two and a half years in ex-Pinot Noir barrels and also consists of 80% whiskey and 20% brandy. It has notes of fruit, tobacco, spice, and an oaky sweetness. It was bottled at a cask strength of 112 proof. While their retail prices put them into the ultra-premium segment ($80 for Multifarious and $200 for Purple Karma Pinnacle), it is in keeping with the general pricing for their wines which range from $45 to $150 a bottle. The production is extremely small and they are available via Patricia Green Cellars.