The Monson family has been farming in Washington’s Yakima Valley since the early 1900s. First came orchards, then came cattle but after connecting with Dr. Walter Clore (the man who most call the visionary behind Washington’s wine industry), Arvid “Vido” Monson began planting vineyards in the desert around Richland. In 1999, Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard & Winery came onto the then-fledgling wine scene and hasn’t looked back since and, last month launched a premium vodka brand.
Titled VIDO Premium Vodka for Arvid Monson, brand and sales manager Taylor Monson fondly remembers her grandfather. “He was always a dreamer and forward thinker,” she says. “He always wanted to produce a vodka from our Goose Ridge estate vineyard, so it was a no-brainer when it became a reality for our family.”
Handcrafted from the estate’s wine grapes and distilled in small batches, Monson says the transition from wine to spirits has been fun. “Seeing my grandpa’s vision come to life and share this unique product has been very rewarding,” she says. “I truly believe a grape-based product provides a higher quality. I find it to be very smooth, but has a nice mouthfeel similar to characteristics you see in wine.”
While vodka is currently the sole focus for VIDO, Monson says the family has high hopes to expanding the portfolio soon. In the meantime, try this Blackberry Spritzer featuring the vodka while you savor the last of the season’s berries.
Blackberry VIDO Spritzer
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces VIDO Vodka
1 ounce blackberry syrup
1 ounce fresh-crushed blackberries
Splash club soda
Garnish: edible flower
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, syrup and fresh-crushed berries. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a flute glass and top with a splash of club soda. Add pansy garnish.