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Double Raven Vanilla Bean Mead was the first mead bottled by Old World Libations. Reaching back into Celt and Norse mythology, the raven was recognized as a source of power, as it straddled the world of the living and the dead. It was depicted as a messenger between these two worlds. The double ravens, Huginn and Muninn, were also depicted in Norse tales as the eyes of Odin, flying around the world to gather and relay their discoveries. Throughout history, the raven has been used as a symbol on weapons, shields, and ships to invoke the power of Odin. We adorned our first mead with the Double Raven to symbolize our effort to preserve Old World traditions and our attempt to tap into the whispers and knowledge of those that have gone before us. It is not uncommon to hear the distinct calls of the raven as we toil in the vineyard and orchard. Those hauntingly beautiful sounds serve to remind us of the thin veil that exists between the worlds, that we must value our season as we steward the land, and that we are simply a part of a much bigger world.
We spent nearly a decade developing recipes and techniques for our fruit wines and meads before opening the doors of Old World Libations. As I was active duty military during this time, I had logistical challenges that I had to overcome during the fermentation and wine aging process. Long days, unexpected moves, and inconsistent temperature control were but a few of those challenges. However, the development of our strawberry wine had other, more subtle, challenges. It was normal to bottle a batch of wine and then sample that product over a period of a year or more to determine the peak of flavor. Following the bottling of one such batch, I was unexpectedly deployed to Jordan for seven months. During this period of wine aging, and my absence, my two sisters would regularly visit my family. To my dismay, they would also regularly taste the labors of my efforts. When they finally communicated to me, half a world away, that my supply of over 20 bottles of strawberry wine (of which I had not yet tasted a drop) was now a meager 3 bottles, I was forced to put a stop to their tastings until I returned. Any further questions as to why this is now named Greedy Sisters?
Passing through the property of Old World Libations was an important and well-traveled Native American trail, thus the namesake of Indian Creek. As the years progressed, this trail transformed into a vital route for settlers heading west. Countless travelers passed over these grounds for thousands of years and left an indelible memory. As fall approached and the threat of winter weather loomed, those travelers toiled to reach their destination. On cool fall days, those that quiet their mind and stand next to that trail may still hear the distinct footfalls of ethereal weary travelers as they walk across the fallen leaves. The steadfastness of the oak tree, the overwatch of the ravens, and the delicate, yet everlasting footprints upon this label honor the souls that still seek their final destination. We hope this libation soothes their spirit until the day their journey is complete.
For millennia, the light of the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox has aided farmers scrambling to complete their harvests before winter. As the daylight wanes and the cool days and nights of fall settle in, the additional light of the full moon during this time is revered. This marks a time of hard work, celebration and abundance. This full moon is known as the Harvest Moon. Though they were not gathered in the light of the harvest moon, these grapes were held on the vine long enough to be kissed by the moonlight of the 2019 Harvest Moon. Late harvest grapes may only be gathered when ideal weather conditions allow for them to hang on the vine past their normal harvest ripeness, while their qualities continue to improve. These conditions may only occur once every few years, making this a unique libation to be savored.
A late summer drought in 2019 provided us the opportunity and allowed Mother Nature to sweeten the late harvest Vignoles grapes, reaching over 30 Brix (28.8 Brix for the blend) with an ideal balance of acid.