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Meet the Maker of GINette

MEET THE MAKER: JEAN-PAUL ZUSSLIN

Our first box (December 2018) featured GINette. Jean-Paul Zusslin and his sister, Marie, are the 13th generation to manage Domaine Valentin Zusslin, an award-winning organic and biodynamic winery, nestled in the small village of Orschwihr in the heart of Alsatian wine country. Their family winery is well-known for its award-winning crémants, rieslings, and pinot noirs.

Following proudly in the footsteps of his grandfather, Jean-Paul is not only a passionate winemaker, but he is also a passionate distiller. He began making gin in the spring of 2018 using the rare and "not so sexy" practice, as he put it, of distilling a spirit from a natural by-product from the aging and fermentation of their wines––the lees (i.e., the dead yeast cells). Once the lees have been distilled into alcohol, organic juniper berries and key botanicals, such as cardamom, ginger, bergamot, and lemon zest, are all macerated separately in the alcohol, then blended together and distilled a second time. The final spirit is a fresh-tasting organic gin that has been produced over four batches, resulting in a quantity of around 500 liters. 

Jean-Paul explained that being a gin maker is much like being a perfume maker; the big difference is that he uses viticultural matter, which gives more structure, more aromatic diversity. He noted that his gin is very different from (and we think a lot better than) the gins made with neutral, industrial alcohol. Ginette is a true labor of love to be appreciated and enjoyed, much like Zusslin's fine wines.

 


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