Welcome to Episode 35 of the Make America Grape Again podcast, where we explore the final frontier: Alaska! Our first wine for the Land of the Midnight Sun is the Haskap Wine from Alaska Berries. Haskap, also known as honeyberry (scientific name Lonicera caerulea), is a plant native to the cooler regions of the far Northern Hemisphere, such as… Alaska. The Ainu name Haskap used by Alaska Berries roughly translates to “many presents on the end of branches.”
You see, Fruit Wines are the only major staple form of wine production for Alaska, at this time; though there is one grower who is trying to change that. By and large, any grape wines made in Alaska are made from concentrate sourced from California, or even as far afield as South America and Europe! In fact, outside of nurseries, there are no grape vines being grown in the state, which means there are no American Viticultural Areas. At this time, there are only four wineries in the state of Alaska. Some wines found at Alaska wineries are made from a blend of both concentrates as well as locally-grown fruits. That all being said, I am told that Alaska does have a thriving mead industry, which I hope to talk about in a future episode.
I acquired this bottle online through the website for Alaska Berries myself for this podcast. Their orchard is located on the Kenai Peninsula, and they do ship! Hope you enjoy listening!