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Organic Nation Spirits

The United States of Vodka


By Adam H. Graham for Valet.
With Craft Vodka Distilleries Popping Up Left and Right,
is Vodka the True American Spirit?


Vodka is at a crossroads and there are two camps among the spirit's craft makers. One believes vodka should take on the flavor of its terroir, and the other stops at nothing to pursue neutral taste and odor. Which is right?


Good Green Witch

LA Talk Radio
with Rhonda DeFelice and Johnny Dam

Rhonda De Felice and Johnny Dam talk with Diane Paulson about ORGANIC NATION, Southern Oregon’s first and only organic micro-distillery.

» Listen


Review: Organic Nation Vodka

Spirits Review

Notes: This Vodka is produced from organic rye, wheat and corn from local sources and organically fermented. Seriously crunchy organic. One of the most rigorously organic (and all the other green appellations) vodkas out there at present - which is an accomplishment considering the rapidly growing competition.

Appearance: Crystal clear, no sediment whatsoever. On swirling it leaves a thin clear oily coat (sign of nice body)on the inside of the glass with a rapidly developing scalloped edge with some long legs developing and lots of small droplets rather than receding altogether. Viscous look and feel.

First Impression: Clean distillate smell, a touch sweet, with nice graininess to it. No smell of esters or oils; clean grain spirit. After a bit it develops a some nice vanilla and cocoa alkali notes mixed with sweetness.


Review: Organic Nation Gin

Spirits Review

Notes: Seriously crunchy organic One of the most rigorously organic (and all the other green appellations) gins out there at present. They start out with their excellent organic vodka as a base and then use a blend of the usual suspects of juniper and coriander, and a number of other botanicals- all organic and as local as possible.

Appearance: Clear, bright, limpid pool of goodness, proper touch of oiliness/viscosity to the body.On swirling nice even coat,scalloped edges, then many legs, mix of long and short, then rapidly going to droplets. When it is chilled it takes on a wonderful thick glasslike appearance even when shaken.

First Impression: Juniper, black pepper and cassia bark, with hints of citrus,coriander, anise, basil and orris root. The anise seems to have a nice leveling effect on the juniper bringing it into balance and harmony with the other ingredients.


Local Organic Vodka and Gin

The Chic Ecologist

I recently had the opportunity to sample some of Oregon’s own wonderful Organic Nation craft distilled Vodka and Gin. Both are handcrafted by Cascade Peak Spirits Inc. in limited-runs from organic ingredients sourced locally.

Since most chemicals are removed from the spirits during the distillation process, many believe that selecting organic liquors aren’t as important as buying organic foods. Organic Nation takes the stance that local and sustainable organic farming practices are just as important as the final product, and they aren’t messing around. Organic Nation is Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, which has arguably the most restrictive organic certification in existence.


OLCC budget cuts could hurt distilleries

By Tove Tupper

ASHLAND, Ore. - The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is facing proposed budget cuts that could create a negative ripple down effect to Oregon spirit makers.


Review: Organic Nation Vodka and Gin

Organic spirits are a category that you just can’t stop. Organic Nation hails from Oregon’s Cascade Peak Spirits Inc., and Organic Nation Vodka and Gin are the company’s first two offerings. A ginger-flavored vodka and at least one whiskey (organic whiskey is decidedly rare) are coming in 2009. While we wait for those, we occupied ourselves with the initial bottles. These products are both certified Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, which the company says is the most restrictive organic certification in existence.


Cooking with whiskey, gin and vodka

Ashland Daily Tidings
By Vickie Aldous

People have long been accustomed to cooking with wine, but the Cascade Peak Spirits distillery in Ashland and Medford's 38 Central restaurant want to introduce diners to food cooked with whiskey, vodka and even gin.

The two local companies are teaming up on Monday, Jan. 26, for a dinner at the restaurant that will feature Chef Juan Murillo's creations. The dinner is limited to 60 people and reservations are required.

Murillo will use Cascade Peak Spirits' Organic Nation vodka, gin and whiskey to take diners on a taste adventure.

Dishes will include brie and leek soup paired with a vodka and lime sorbet, steak with whiskey sauce, seared scallops finished with a gin and tonic reduction and chocolate and whiskey bread pudding.


(Guilt) free spirits

Ashland Daily Tidings
By Hannah Guzik

David Eliasen had been tinkering around in his Ashland distillery, trying to get the gin right for weeks. In August, when he finally found the right concoction, he was honest with his wife about his process: It was a genuine mistake.

"He was supposed to steep the botanicals for 12 hours, but he forgot about it and left it for 24 hours," said his wife, Diane Paulson, president of Cascade Peak Spirits Inc., an Ashland company that makes Organic Nation Vodka and Organic Nation Gin.

Eliasen, who had been toiling in the Hersey Business Park distillery like a "little mad scientist," according to Paulson, mixed the 24-hour gin with the 12-hour gin to create the taste he was after.

"It was the coincidence of creativity," Paulson said.

Eliasen, who is the company's vice president and who also works full time for the city, now replicates his "mistake" every weekend to make the company's smooth, fragrant gin, infused with 12 botanicals, including juniper berries and angelica root, gathered from Pacific Botanicals in Grants Pass.


Oregon bounty at its peak

Medford Mail Tribune
By Sarah Lemon

Oregon's tourist season is winding down, but the state's culinary scene is in full swing. Oregon Bounty, a two-month itinerary of events, showcases delicious destinations, specialty food products and the artisans behind them.

"It's when Oregon is really at its peak — the harvest's coming in, the wines are being made," says Greg Robeson, Oregon Bounty manager.

"It's part of discovering what's in your own backyard."


Emerging Business of the Year

The highest recognition given by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce was recently awarded at the 102nd Annual Dinner Celebration for 2008 with approximately 200 guests in attendance.

The President's Gavel was exchanged from President Katy Bazylewicz of Providence Medford Medical Center to the incoming President Pam Hammond, co-owner of Paddington Station in Ashland.
The top awards for the evening were presented to nine individuals for their business successes and community contributions:

• The Volunteer of the Year celebrated the community accomplishments of Al Alsing.
• The Citizen of Year went to Juli DiChiro who was also nominated by her peers as Superintendent of the Year in Ashland.
• The Honorary Life Member of the Year was given to Senora Chelo Kocks for her dedication to the Sister-City relationship between Ashland and Guanajuato, Mexico.
• The First Ever Food & Wine Classic Top Chef of 2007, as well as the new Iron Chef Oregon was recognized as Neil Clooney from Dragonfly Café & Gardens.
• New Award this year: The Emerging Business of the Year was given to Diane Paulson, David Eliason and Mary Toney of Cascade Peak Spirits that produces Organic Nation Vodka and Gin.
• The Greeter of the Year was awarded to Gordon Roda.
• The Retail Business of the Year was given to Bloomsbury Books in downtown Ashland.
• The Service Business of the Year was awarded to the Ashland YMCA.
• The Manufacturing Business of the Year was awarded to DreamSacks, Inc.
All awards recipients received plaques highlighting their accomplishments.


Shaken, not stirred

Ashland Daily Tidings
By Hannah Guzik

Melodie Buell tended to her gaggle of gooseberries, muddling them with pear pieces in a pint glass, shaking them in a bath of vodka and black peppercorn syrup, and straining the liquid into a martini glass. Hands fluttering around the Standing Stone Brewery bar, she added five gooseberries to the drink, tucked a pear slice on the edge of the glass and floated semi-sparkling chardonnay on top.

"There it is," she said, standing back to admire her work. "Goose's Pear'd Up."

On the counter, glowing and golden in the bar's half-light, was Buell's award-winning drink.

Last month the Ashland native won the Southern Oregon Regional Oregon Bounty Cocktail Contest, put on by Travel Oregon, and advanced to the statewide competition in Portland Oct. 1.

There she competed against the six other regional winners, mixing her drink for a panel of judges.

Although Cheryl Meloy of Portland won the competition with her Hike, Fish & Go Camping Punch, Buell — who had never entered a mixology contest before — finished in the top three.



Willamette Week
By Editorial Staff

Cascade Peak Spirits, a craft distillery in Ashland, made headlines when it debuted Oregon’s first organic vodka in May. Now, the company’s Organic Nation gin ($29.30 a bottle) hits Portland liquor store shelves this week. What makes it organic, exactly? “It’s a little bit like an organic tomato,” Cascade Peak head Diane Paulson explains. “The raw product used [to make the spirits], like the wheat or rye or corn or potatoes, there’s been no herbicides or pesticides used on them.” Cascade’s “raw” materials come from certified organic farmers with sustainable growing practices. She says she doesn’t see slapping the big “O” tag on her booze as buying into the marketability of the “organic” label. To her, producing a sustainable product is a matter of responsibility. “That’s why we named our brand Organic Nation—it comes with a system of values,” she says. With only one still, Cascade Peak is certainly small, but its plans are big. The company is researching ginger and vanilla vodka, as well as projects with local food craftsmen like Ashland’s Dagoba Chocolate. It also has an organic whiskey currently sitting on oak, but, as with all whiskeys, patience is a virtue.


First Organic Micro Distillery

Locals Guide
By Marick

What is the difference between organic an non organic alcohol and why is organic better?

The difference is that organic spirits are made from raw materials (i.e. grains, potatoes, grapes etc.) that are certified organic. Obviously, non-organic is using raw materials that are not grown organically; possibly with the use of chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, etc. Organic refers not only to the raw products themselves, but also to how they are produced and processed. Organic agricultural production is based on a system of farming that mimics natural ecosystems and maintains and replenishes the fertility and nutrients of the soil. Certification means that our products have been grown and handled according to strict organic standards that include inspection farm fields, process facilities, detailed record keeping and periodic testing soils and water to ensure that we, as organic processors, are meeting or exceeding the standards of the USDA National Organic Program. The pre-eminent organic certifier Oregon Tilth certifies us. We believe that organic is better because organic certification makes a statement that we are committed to supporting our natural environment. We believe that it is smoother, based on many, many tastings by hundreds of individuals because there are no chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, etc. present in any amount-- minute or trace amounts do not exist! We have one customer that swears by our Organic Nation vodka. She believes that there is a connection between the organic ingredients and her not having any negative physical side effects!


Oregon distillery creates first organic vodka

Portland Tribune
By Anne Marie DiStefano

And while we're at it, let's make some gin

Oregon’s micro-distilling industry continues to pick up steam with the release of Organic Nation Vodka, the state’s first organic spirit.

Diane Paulson, president and chief bottle washer at Cascade Peak, has big plans for the small company. Just a few days ago, she says over the phone from Ashland, they perfected a recipe for gin, which includes 13 different organic botanicals. And they already have whiskey aging in barrels, which will be ready to drink next fall or winter.

Organic vodka brewed in Ashland

Ashland Daily Tidings
By Mandy Valencia

Diane Paulson, president, owner, CEO, and chief bottle-washer of Cascade Peak Spirits, has opened a distillery in Ashland brewing vodka.

"We started brewing over cocktails in the summer of 2006," Paulson said. "In September of 2007, we were developing a business plan, going to workshops and researching the whole distilling industry."

Paulson and her partner, David Eliasen, looked at the growing organic food industry and decided, "If I can eat organic food, why wouldn't I want to have organic booze?"


Ashland distillery debuts organic liquor

Medford Mail Tribune
By Mandy Valencia

Cascade Peak Spirits introduces its organic vodka at several local sites this week

ASHLAND — Oregon's first organic liquor — a vodka distilled in Ashland — goes on shelves and in bars and restaurants Thursday.

The target market? People who spend money on fine wines and organic foods, regardless of the economy, and who want their liquor, like their food, to be tasty, made locally and free of manmade chemicals, says Diane Paulson, president of the fledgling Cascade Peak Spirits.

Paulson and Vice President David Eliasen, her business and domestic partner, have signed up the state liquor stores and at least 20 restaurants in the valley to carry O-N, or Organic Nation vodka.

© 2010 Cascade Peak Spirits