Koenig Winery & Distillery
Idaho seems an unlikely location for a small distiller to find success: the state ranks close to the bottom in per capita wine consumption. But Koenig Winery & Distillery is changing that perception with one of the finest lineups of craft spirits and award-winning wines made anywhere in the Northwest.
Drawing on an Old World tradition of fruit brandy production, brothers Andy and Greg Koenig saw a future for craft distilling amidst the fruit orchards of the Sunny Slope in southwest Idaho. Koenig’s fruit brandies reflect the essence of hand-sorted ripe Idaho fruit distilled in German-made copper pot stills and aged in glass carboys for two years before bottling. Apricot, Pear, Plum, and Cherry are the distillery’s standouts, along with a grappa made from local Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel grapes.
It’s only natural that in Idaho, top-quality vodka is made. Koenig vodka is distilled in hand-hammered copper pot stills using Rocky Mountain water and prime potatoes. While vodka itself may not be very exciting, it is a highly popular base for cocktails, and sells very well. Adding their own twist, Koenig macerates hand-picked, wild huckleberries in vodka and then distills it to produce an elegant, aromatic berry-influenced vodka that is turning heads wherever it is tasted, including a bronze medal at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
From the May/June 2011 issue of Northwest Palate