SLO de Vie – A true craft distillery in the heart of wine country

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024

DLO de View Winery Grover Beach

SLO de Vie owners, Thomas da Rosa and Anatoly Rosinsky.

Where old-world distilling arts meet

—SLO de Vie is a craft distillery created by two business partners, Thomas da Rosa and Anatoly Rosinsky, who come from two very different geographic locations: Portugal and Russia. Both men grew up with families who distilled at home for personal consumption. The da Rosa’s made wine and aguardiente (a distilled spirit containing 29-60% alcohol) while the Rosinsky’s made vodka.

When the two men became neighbors and friends in the heart of wine country, they shared their passion for making wine and spirits. They formed a partnership to launch the SLO de Vie Distillery in Grover Beach where they could follow old-world techniques to win over consumers’ palates with their grape-based spirits.

Da Rosa explains, “Our goal, as a company, is to maintain old-world lost arts – the big distillers can’t do what we do. They do mass quantities and use big machines, where we are hands-on, make things seem like it was done hundreds of years ago, but legally and clean.”

Eau de vie, which translates to “water of life”, refers to a fruit brandy produced by fermentation and double distillation. This process was followed by the monks in France who made it for medicinal purposes over 600 years ago and today SLO de Vie’s goal is to emulate that style by making small batches following old-world techniques. The partners will keep production low and focus on quality by “removing the heads and the tails” in their spirits.

“We don’t use the first part of the distilling process; we only use the middle 50 percent,” da Rosa said. “The first 25 and the last 25 are set aside. Only destemmed grapes make it into our copper pot still, thus avoiding any hint of wood alcohol. We get a clean aguardente without negative flavor.”

At any given time, you could find up to 11 different products offered. Each is made in small quantities and bottle-aged. Offerings include Grappa, gin, vodka, and several aguardentes with flavors including anise, fig, and passion fruit – all made from local grapes. Their products do well in competition with the Two Foxes Grappa D’Uva recently receiving a gold medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition.

The partners welcome guests to their distillery for tastings, seminars, and special events. A tasting includes a tour and education about how the products are made in the copper pot stills. Private events for groups of various sizes can be arranged including food such as imported cheese and other items from Portugal. Although the tasting room is only open on Friday and Saturday afternoons, if Thomas or Anatoly are available, they are happy to take appointments at any time to offer an educational and fun experience. The private tasting can be customized based on the guests’ interest and guests may even be treated to barrel tasting from one of the 75 barrels of aging spirits.

SLO de Vie is located at 200 S 4th St, Ste 201 in Grover Beach. Tasting hours are Friday and Saturday from noon -6 p.m. and by appointment. For more information visit slodevie.com or call (805) 481-1263.

—Lisa Pretty

 

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