Wildwood Spirits Co. blends ‘farm to table’ and ‘vineyard to bottle’ to craft and curate their distillates in a unique and distinctive ‘farm to distillery’ fashion. The distillery produces a curated selection of vodka, gin, whiskey and grappa. Owner, Erik Liedholm, is a self-taught distiller and crafts each blend and brand with a nod to his Swedish roots and love for wine, food and distilling. And each blend has a special name that is part of the Wildwood Spirits Co. story. Wildwood itself, comes from the name of the street in East Lansing, Michigan where Liedholm grew up.
A decadent blend of flavors and aromas of toffee, caramel, orange flowers and vanilla lend a delicious taste to this award-winning bourbon. The name, the Dark Door, is an homage to the dark, wood door to Erik’s parent’s home in East Lansing, Michigan.
An award-winning spirit since its inception in 2014, Wildwood’s gin, Kur, is translated to cure. Even if you’re not a gin drinker, you have to give this one a try. When asked about the process, Liedholm mentions he’s worked to use the culinary approach. “With our gin, we distill each botanical separately,” he says. The Braeburn Apples and Douglas Fir come from his backyard, the juniper is imported from Bulgaria, and he only purchases the best of Seville oranges.
Also known as Strong Water in Sweden, Stark Vatten, the distillery’s vodka is textured, which is rare for what is normally a flavorless and odorless spirit. It’s easily sippable and not required to be mixed as a cocktail to drink.
As a Master Sommelier and the Company Wine Director/Partner for the John Howie Restaurant group, Erik knows a thing or two about wine and varietals, and distills Grappa—the traditional, fragrant, grape-based Italian beverage—with Pacific Northwest Chenin Blanc Grapes.
The tasting room is designed much like an old apothecary with each of the many awards that Liedholm’s spirits have won throughout the years sprinkled throughout the space. Large windows provide a peek into the distilling machine and process, while you try each of the spirits and learn about the botanicals, process and more. It’s conveniently located downstairs from Beardslee Public House and is open for tastings Wednesday – Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. or by appointment.