As reported by Laura Ingle, on Fox News
April 3 2012:
Watch the entire video or
see Farmer Nigel at 1:11.
And here's the
article in print. For the information in the
article on Weatherbury Farm, click here.
If you've ever been to a wine
tasting, you know what to expect:
swirling fragrant, fermented grape
juice around in a glass, sniffing
the aroma and drinking in the
complexity and character of the
vintage with each sip.
Owners of Wigle Whiskey in
Pittsburgh are hoping that whiskey
enthusiasts will apply many of those
same methods as they try the
company's clear rye whiskey and
other whiskey products at its newly
opened distillery in the Strip
District of the Steel City.
Whiskey tastings are now legal in
the state after a law passed last
December allowed small distilleries
to sell and serve directly to the
public. Before, distilleries had to
sell to the state, which would in
turn sell to state-run stores,
restaurants and bars.
Eric Meyer, who co-owns and operates
Wigle Whiskey with his family, tells
Fox News he hopes the new law will
help them entice new customers and
create more business.
'We are trying to get people to try
whiskey that have never tried in
before, and this law and this
distillery allows us to give
samplings. A lot of people who don't
want to buy a whole bottle of
whiskey but want to try it maybe,
and if they like it then they can
buy the bottle here.'
Dan Connors visited Wigle Whiskey
this week during a whiskey tasting.
'You can almost become a connoisseur
and share it with your friends,"
Connors said. "You know, you are in
on a secret before everyone else is,
which is fun.'
The Meyer family opened Wigle
Whiskey this year to the public,
naming their small distillery after
18th century whiskey maker Philip
Wigle, who is said to have burned
down the home of a federal tax
collector in the 1790s. Wigle was
credited with helping lead the tax
protest known as Whiskey Rebellion
during George Washington's
The new family business employs
several Meyer family members and
helps bring a bit of Pennsylvania
history back to life says Eric
'Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh
used to be the whiskey capital of
the whole country,' he said. 'We
were Kentucky before Kentucky. If
you were drinking whiskey in the
1700s, it was almost certainly
coming from Western Pennsylvania.'
Whiskey tastings at Wigle Whiskey
have brought in hundreds of people
every week, a trend that these small
distilleries hope will turn the
Steel City into the Napa Valley of
whiskey in the Northeast.
Craft whiskey making is also
expected to bring an economic boon
to area rye farmers.
Nigel Tudor, who grows the grain in
nearby Avella, hopes to reap the
benefits of this new craft industry.
'If they make more whiskey, they're
going to need more rye. If they need
more rye and I have more land, I'll
plant more rye,' Tudor said.
Similar laws have passed in New
York, Michigan, Oregon and Virginia,
which means there could soon be a
whole new crop of whiskey tasters
who may need some tips on how to
safely become a whiskey aficionado.