Posted by Rosalyn Graham on Jan 09, 2019
Charlotte Shelburne Hinesburg Rotary
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, 7:30 a.m.
Trinity community Room
 
President Erik Kolomaznik led the pledge of allegiance and Susan Grimes gave the devotional.
 
Stormy weather:
Erik led a discussion of a better way to announce meeting cancellations based on bad weather. The process had been to cancel meetings when the schools announced cancellations, but this is not readily accessible to everyone, and often is only announced very late.
The plan we reached was that cancellations will be decided on Tuesday night by 8 p.m. An email will be sent out to the group with a cancellation notice based on the information we have at that time. This will accommodate everyone who only checks their emails early in the evening, and will also be better for France and Phil who are at the church preparing breakfast very early.
If you have any reason to believe that the weather on a Wednesday morning will be dicey, please communicate your concerns to Erik on Tuesday so he can make the call by 8 p.m. that evening.
 
Spread the word
Rosalyn Graham distributed posters designed to raise awareness of Rotary meetings and encourage anyone who is interested to come to a meeting to meet Rotarians, learn about Rotary, enjoy breakfast and interesting speakers, and consider joining. Rotarians were encouraged to take the posters to put them up at their offices, local stores and public places.
Also next week the PR Committee will bring the draft version of a large sign to be placed on a sandwich board in the center of Shelburne to remind passersby of the Rotary meetings on Wednesday. Possible locations would be either Trinity Church lawn, or the Shelburne Green at the main intersection in town. The sandwich board would be set up on Tuesday and taken down after the Wednesday meeting.
 
Happy fines
Chris Davis wielded the dip net, collecting dollars from Rotarians, reflecting personal good news:
Ric Flood – a scoot fine
Richard Fox — heading for next official step in his path to becoming District Governor
Erik Kolomaznik  — good start to 2019 — son ‘s call for a snow day jinxed the system
Gary Marcotte  —  grateful for good work of our towns; fire, police and rescue
Jon Lowell – a great Phoenix visit
John Hammer — yeah, snow
Howard Seaver --  visit to Colorado and other places
Margo Plank — looking forward to going to Tela, Honduras and excited that her sister will be joining the H2H team
Susan Grimes – happy for the snow; scoot fine, leaving early for long drive to clinic in Richford
Keith Walsh -- No school for his kids
George Schiavone –a  wonderful snow forecast
Trafton Crandall -- great trip to Colorado,  and fun in the snow with four- year-old grandson
John Dupee  — mixed and happy
Bob Sanders — Roz taking the meeting notes; great UVM hockey game
Roz Graham – happy to have a Christmas present IPad with a keyboard – great for note taking
Bill Deming — happy last week is over
Diana - happy for guest speaker
Chris Davis - happy

Lucky draw
Guest Craig Stevens pulled the ticket of one of the Rotarians sitting at the “senior” table and John Dupee drew the “not a winner” card. Roll over $466.
 
Guest speaker
Diana Vachon introduced Craig Stevens, co-founder and now sole owner of Wild Hart Distillery.
Craig told the history of the distillery located in the Shelburne Green Business Park at the south edge of Shelburne, and led a visual tour of the complex production process that is already winning prizes in national spirits competitions.
Wild Hart opened in 2017, following an onerous federal process of approvals that took three years to be approved to produce and sell spirits.
Wild Hart produces two products, American Dry Gin and Vermont Classic Gin. American Dry is made of traditional botanicals, 92 proof, with fewer ingredients, allowing each flavor to stand out. Vermont Classic is made by adding lime leaf-infused maple syrup to American Dry Gin.  He said that both are going strong in liquor stores.
They also produce a variant called Burning Embers, a Vermont variation on traditional Glug recipe, made with the addition of Shelburne Vineyard wine. As this grows in popularity, Craig says they are working with other regional vineyards.
New products continue to be developed including a spiced rum recipe, corn whiskey and aged gin, as well as interesting cordials made when neighbors drop fruit on his doorstep.
Wild Hart has a nicely decorated tasting room where they also serve local products such as Capsize cans of Shelburne Vineyard wines, and Fiddlehead beer. They also have retail sales, tours and cocktails.
The spectacularly large and shiny equipment of distillery production, the mash tun, the fermenters and the columns where the exacting processes of cooking, fermenting, purifying the whiskey, vodka and gin take place, are well worth a visit for a tour.
In response to a question, Craig described the complexity of the permitting process. He said that he had to build the building, hire his staff, and get all set up before the federal review process can begin, a process that then took five months, while costs were piling on. The feds also have to approve all formulas and recipes, as well as all labels.
Howard Seaver asked if craft distilleries are making a dent in traditional brands, and Craig said that it is interesting to note that while overall consumption levels for spirits aren’t rising, it is interesting that people are purchasing more expensive spirits — like Wild Hart!
Responding to a question from George Schiavone about marketing, Craig said that it is important to have a good product that sets you apart and a price that is competitive, however it is also key to build relationships on a personal basis, both with bar and restaurant owners, as well as the spirit purchasing public. “People won’t pick it up unless they have tasted it, heard the story, or its been recommended by a friend.”  He said he works with bars and restaurants in the market area and working with Vermont Liquor Control is sold in all top liquor stores. He has expanded to ski areas in Vermont and now Connecticut and other parts of New England.
 
Lucky draw 2
Craig drew the lucky number of Bill Deming who won a box of Wild Hart products.
 
Recorded by Rosalyn Graham
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