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(I started this blog pre-harvest; it is now mid-harvest and time sure changes everything.)
We were both fans of potato and corn vodka in comparison to the typical grain vodkas readily available. So, on our hunt to find the best potato vodka we came up with the distillery idea instead … why not make our own we thought… we have the property here in Langley, we have the buildings to house it, we have the know-how to farm (well, Rob does), we have fresh spring water on the property, and of course we both have hardworking stubborn work ethics to make it happen while still working full time at other jobs.
So the potato happened … this more often than not odd shaped giver of your favorite foods that are bad for your waist line, such as: French fries, Scallop potatoes covered in cheese, poutine, and of course potato chips. There are of course other odd uses for potatoes such as rubber stamp replacements, shoe polisher, stain remover, and they can reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.
But… there is the ultimate gift that potatoes can provide and that is starch that converts to sugar when manipulated which you can than ferment and turn into vodka. So, hence, potatoes are vodka berries or vodka veggies or just plain wonderful little packages of potential that can make you laugh a little louder, cry a little harder, dance a little wilder, and stay a little longer.
With all that being said we are currently harvesting our potatoes - 6 acres of them by hand … it is quite the task. The harvester digs them up, then we pick them up and transfer them to the loader which then takes them to storage. We truly have a hand in the entire process which we love but after hours bending over or on your knees picking up spuds there is not a lot of things I love … luckily Rob is one of them as he keeps spirits high by making jokes or reminding me that the harvest is only 6 weeks out of 52.
So that, in a nutshell, is why you can enjoy craft distilled potato Vodka from the Fraser Valley.
So where does our name, Roots and Wings Distillery, come from? The answer lies in various different places for me personally, and also for Rob.
I like the saying - the best thing you can give your children are Roots and Wings. Roots to know where they are from and Wings to allow their dreams to soar. The Roots are for the security of knowing where you are from and the principals that were instilled in you early on. Then the Wings is the confidence to go after your dreams and take risks to make them happen.
The same is true when building a business; you need to know where you started and where you want to go. Rob’s family has been on this Langley farm for generations and he knows this place better than anyone, but also has dreams of trying something he hasn’t done before on this farm.
Our Langley distillery name - Roots and Wings Distillery - comes from having both the security of the place we live at and the options that are readily available; as well as the confidence of two hardworking adventurous souls to take a leap of faith.
So, when you are sipping or savouring our craft spirits, remember where you are from and who you want to become….embrace your Roots and Wings!