How does a former Tesla employee who has moved to California’s Gold Country make use of what he learned in high-tech to partner with local farmers? Hint: It’s all about the terroir. We know about the importance of soil, climate, and sunlight in giving wine its distinctive character. But now Gold Country terroir is showing up with a twist—in spirits such as gin, vodka, and whisky.
I talk with distiller Nate Randall in Calaveras County, California. Nate and his wife, Bonnie, live in the small town of Arnold where they distill California wines, then infuse the resulting spirits with locally sourced botanicals such as juniper, gooseberries, elderflower and other native flora from the Sierra Nevada foothills.