Kina-Salal is the sequel release to our famous quinquina, Kina-Rouge, the first quinquina style wine made in Canada since WWII and a Double-Gold Winner at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirit Awards.
First developed in France, Quinquina (pronounced 'ka-kina') also known as Tonic Wine. It is a sweet wine that has had a dosage of quinine added, just like Tonic Water is sweetened water with bitter quinine added. To add to the naming confusion, it is also frequently called a 'Kina'. In the case of our Kina-Salal, we used a mead (honey wine) base and wild salal berries and blueberries to pump up the berry juiciness before diving into the astringent bitterness of quinine. Enjoy over ice or topped with soda water. A splash of gin certainly doesn't hurt.
In this new, seasonal, release we crushed 100kg of wild Salal Berries, foraged on Vancouver Island by Ben and Célia of Forest for Dinner, and aged the Salal on our blueberry-blossom mead for 4 months before finally adding 16 different botanicals including trailing blackberry leaves, blueberries, elecampane, dandelion root, ginger and, of course, quinine. The final blend was then aged for an additional 5 months before bottling.
Only 125 cases were made for this 2024 batch.
For centuries, the British, French and Roman empires were ravaged by the fevers of malaria. A treatment was finally discovered in 1638, in the bark of the Cinchona tree; quinine. The British took this bitter medicine and created tonic water for their soldiers abroad. Gin followed soon after. In 1820, French chemists solved this bitter problem by isolating quinine from the bark and adding it to the wine rations of the Foreign Legionnaires. The result? The famous tonic wine known as Quinquina. This is our take, blending quinine with wild Vancouver Island Salal Berries, aged on our fortified blueberry-blossom mead.