No grapes? No problem.
The image above is halfway across "Laugavegurinn" in the highlands and accurately represents our journey from the first bottle to a small business. Our journey begins remotely back in the states - the founding winemaker testing a variety of berries and fruits for optimizing wine quality. Blueberries have notably gained a reputation as a superfood, for their high levels of anti oxidant compounds including anthocyanins and other polyphenols that are thought to be beneficial to human health and decrease risks of heart disease. The first batch of wine created was experimental, and contained the juice from 3 lbs of blueberries (per gallon). This made a medium-bodied bottle of wine that would be transported to Iceland in August 2017. The recipe, however, continues to be altered for the next batch to be full-bodied and just as sweet. This, along with our Westfjord berry harvest will arrive in our second batch of wine in the summer of 2018. In between now and 2018, the team here at the Westfjords Winery has a lot work to do in berry harvest, wine production, revenue generation, license and permit entities, and securing a physical location. In our transparent nature as a business, we aim and strive to consistently update you on all of these matters. As of now, we are small and hope to continue to grow until we can sustain levels of production to fit the demand of the Icelandic and international community.
First Batch of Wine & Core Values
In Summer 2017, the first batch of wine made from blueberries was ready for bottling. Only two gallons in total were made, as this was made to 'test the waters' with his product and gather feedback from the Icelandic community and the local tourists in the fjords. Each bottle is labeled with Batch #01 and Bottle #x. Along with production, the founder wanted to keep to sustainability and environmental consciousness as the core values of the winery. To achieve these, we minimize land use and eliminate any destruction of the fjords by utilizing the natural locations of the fruits in Iceland. Additionally, our small scale production of wines minimizing the amount of carbon dioxide produced. We avoid the use of harsh chemicals in our fining process and clarification steps, and encourage the recycling of our glass bottles.
Current Progress & Grand Opening
In October of 2017, our Kickstarter will go live to gather $5,000 of funding to start our process of establishing our business. A grant in the Westfjords will be submitted for us to gather more funding for equipment. Currently our production levels are limited by our equipment, as we only able to ferment 7-30 liters per harvest. The addition of harvest interns, wine supplies for scaling up our fermentation process, and a small facility will aid further our endeavor. Without a facility, our berries our brought back to the states for the fermentation, and returned to Iceland for wine. Once our second batch is finished (May 2018), we plan to make major headway in the summer of 2018 and expect to officially open in August 2018.