Hanjan Soju | Damso Soju | Kaga Sake


Hanjan Korean Soju

Hanjan Korean Soju in a field of flowers
Hanjan Mandarin Orange

Hanjan is a brand of Korean Soju, but what exactly is Soju? Soju is a Korean spirit that was traditionally distilled from rice, but can also be made using grapes, wheat, or in the case of Hanjan, apples. The spirit typically ranges from 10-20% alcohol by volume so it is more mild than something like Vodka which it is often compared to. Soju not only has less of a burn than a spirit like vodka, but it is naturally a little more sweet as well.


Hanjan Korean Soju on a log
Hanjan Korean Soju (Americano flavor)

Hanjan Soju is a Korean apple fortified wine. The apples are fermented and turned into the apple wine base that makes Hanjan. These wines have a mild apple scent and a tender, delicate taste. No ethyl alcohol is used, only apple wine and wine distilled liquor. The apples of Korea are grown under Korea's natural climate conditions, which provide the perfect yield for apple wine. Sweetness & sourness are well balanced. Hanjan is charcoal filtered to refresh and invigorate with a smooth, clean taste.


Hanjan Korean Soju in Mandarin Orange
Hanjan Korean Soju in Mandarin Orange

Korean Soju is said to be the most popular spirit in Korea for years, and it has been steadily gaining popularity in the United States over the last few years. Korean Soju is sure to be a new favorite for your next picnic, barbeque, or pool party! Hanjan Soju is distributed by Vinocopia throughout Minnesota, and is a staple of both on-premise and off-premise accounts. Check it out on your next dinner date, or at a liquor store near you!


(Hanjan Korean Soju is available from Vinocopia in the following flavors: Original, Apple, Peach, Mandarin Orange, Americano Coffee, Ginger, Grape, and Strawberry).


Damso Distilled Soju


Damso is another type of Korean Soju. Damso is made in a differently than Hanjan which is a fortified apple wine. Damso is instead created by distilling a neutral spirit and infusing it with natural flavors that entice and tantalize the senses. Damso (as well as Hanjan) comes in at 12% alcohol by volume which makes it the perfect beverage to drink on its own, or to pair with a nice citrus salad, or your favorite delicate chicken roast.


Damso Lychee Soju
Damso Lychee Soju

This masterfully crafted soju will quickly become a new favorite edition to your liquor cabinet or for your next night out. Damso Korean Soju is distributed across the state of Minnesota by Vinocopia, and is available in four flavors: Original, Lychee, Blueberry, and Watermelon.


Hanjan and Damso together at last
Damso Lychee Soju and Hanjan Strawberry Soju

Kaga Sake


Japanese Sake at a Japanese Garden
Kaga Sake

Sake. The famous Japanese drink known and loved in Japan, and by your cousin Mike who is a self proclaimed expert on foreign culture. We've all heard of it, and seen it at the liquor store... but what exactly is Sake?


Sake at its most basic is made from water and rice, with the help of yeast and koji spores. Koji spores are dusted onto rice in order to convert the starches from the rice into sugar, then the yeast consumes this sugar and turns it into alcohol.


Infographic of what sake is made up of
Sake diagram

Another important thing to know is that there are two types of Sake that are made in different ways (depicted in the chart below). Junmai Sake is sake that is made solely from rice, as described above. The word jumai translates to 'pure rice' meaning there is no distilled alcohol added in the production of Junmai Sake. All other types of Sake that do not include 'Junmai' in the name have distilled alcohol added during the production process.


Types of Japanese Sake
Types of Sake

The numbers in the middle of the chart above indicate the rice polishing ratio of different types of Sake. The rice polishing ratio shows how much of the surface of the brown rice used in production is polished away. A lower percentage indicates a sake made from a more highly polished rice, which makes for a higher quality Sake. Jumai Daiginjyo, therefore, is often regarded as the most premium grade of Sake, made from highly polished rice.


Kaga Japanese Sake
Kaga Sake

Vinocopia distributes a wide variety of Sake throughout Minnesota. Each one is sure to delight and amaze you with their brilliant aromas and flavors.


Junmai Sake
Kaga Junmai Sake

Flying Dutchman | Piattelli Torrontés

Gin and Rum sitting by the water
Flying Dutchman Spirits

The founders of Flying Dutchman have been around the world and back. What they discovered upon their travels was the joy of sharing unique and bright flavors, much like their Danish ancestors. While their ancestors dabbled in spices, Flying Dutchman has claimed the realm of spirits as their own. Flying Dutchman Spirits are makers of vodka, rum, blue agave, and mediterráneo style gin.


Rum
Flying Dutchman Rum

Flying Dutchman’s rum would make any pirate proud, distilled with pure sugar cane. The most unique spirit from the distillery is their Blue Agave, which for legal purposes cannot be called Tequila or Mescal, which can only be distilled in the Mexican state of Jalisco. Flying Dutchman made it their goal to prove that quality agave based spirits can be made anywhere, even so close to the Northern border.


Gin sitting on a rock in the forest
Flying Dutchman Gin
Gin sitting on a log by the water
Flying Dutchman Mediterraneo Gin
Gin and Rum on ledge
Flying Dutchman Spirits

Piattelli Vineyards Torrontes
Piattelli Torrontés

Torrontés, from Piattelli Vineyards, is one of the most unique wines I myself have ever tasted. Made with Torrontés grapes in the Andes Mountains of Argentina, this crisp white wine is essential for the heatwave summers of Minnesota. To maintain its signature delicate and floral flavors, the Torrontés grapes are gently crushed at the gravity-flo Piattelli vineyard, and fermented at a cool 55 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain the wines integrity. Light, floral flavors, and tropical aromas of pineapple and fresh apricot lends this wine to be perfectly suited for spicy foods, white fish, or any fresh salad.


White Wine
Piattelli Vineyards Torrontés
Piattelli
Piattelli Vineyards






Winery, Distillery, and Event Center

Chankaska Creek Winery

In lush rolling hills and fertile soil of the Southern Minnesota River Valley, lies the award-winning Chankaska Creek Ranch, Winery, and Distillery. On a summer morning, you can see over 13 acres of meticulously tended vines bathed in the warmth of the nurturing sun. Sunsets illuminate the gorgeous landscape and creek that embraces the winery. This place is where magic and memories pair perfectly with a family of wines that are completely redefining the industry with their unique craftsmanship.


Chankaska Creek

Giving attention to the creek that ripples through the present ranch property, and the lush forest that embraces it, the Dakota named the creek, “Chankaska,” meaning “enclosed by forest.” To respect and honor this unique historical detail, we chose to name the winery after Chankaska creek.


Owners, Kent and Jane Schwickert
Chankaska Event Center

Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery does more than just make wine and spirits. They also host weddings, and other events in their beautiful event center located right on the grounds.


Grapes (of Wrath)

At Chankaska growing wine grapes in Minnesota's harsh climates is not just doable, but it actually yields delicious and unique wines that can only be found in the Midwest. Select varietals of grapes were created at the University of Minnesota to be able to withstand the harsh weather of Minnesota and create incredible wines, including: Frontenac, Marquette, and La Crescent. The newest varietal coming soon to Chankaska is the Itasca grape. (More info can be found at the link at the bottom of this post).


Chankaska Kasota Rose

Going beyond just wine, Chankaska’s latest enterprise is in the distilling of whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, bourbon, and brandy. By offering hard spirits, they’re able to add a rebellious twist to the growing list of Chankaska’s offerings! Undeterred by the dry days of Prohibition and the Minnesota-bred Volstead Act, the original establishment that occupied Chankaska Ranch would not give in to those who feared that partaking in fine spirits fueled social ills and a lack of public morals. Instead, it became a speakeasy for the locals serving up liquor and games of chance. Today, that tradition of offering small-batch hooch continues at Chankaska Creek Ranch for the thirsty and adventurous.


Vineyard at Chankaska Creek Winery

https://mnhardy.umn.edu/varieties/fruit/grapes