144 Islands Vermouth No. 1


Hyper local Vermouth from the team at 144 Islands in collaboration with craft distiller Michael Hanna. Vermouth No. 1 has white base wine of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Chardonnay, fortified with distilallates of Kerikeri Lemon, Kawakawa, Kumarahou, Tarata, Manuka and Kanuka Flowers and Pink Peppercorn. With the use of Kawakawa and Kumarahou, this gives a sense of forest trails and roadside walks through the Far North in the peak of summer.

When we sat down to taste with Jake we realised pretty quickly that we were onto something special. The vineyards are planted 20km inland from the Bay of Islands on gravelly, volcanic soils at an exposed 300 metres above sea level. From this site overlooking some of the Bay’s 144 islands, Jake and his wife Melika have been bold and experimental in planting a myriad of different varieties including Albariño, Semillon, Syrah, Tempranillo and Sangiovese. Farmed organically without irrigation, the resulting wines are both sophisticated and delicious.