If you could take the Kootenays and bottle it, what would the ingredients be?
The first thing that comes to mind is immense natural beauty, stunning vistas, mountains, fields, rivers, lakes, wide open spaces, dotted with small friendly towns. It’s an open accepting warm hug from one friend to another whether a brother, mother, lover or some other. It’s an entrepreneurial spirit. A built in DIY mindset born from adversity in our founders and maintained in the pursuit of sustainability today. It’s a young family settling and living off the land, creating a living and a life for themselves. It’s a desire to change the world, not through in your face unfortunate truths, but through a quiet peaceful demonstration of just how good life can really be. Yes for me that is really the Kootenay spirit.
There is another family in the region that embodies that sentiment and pours it into their own Kootenay spirits. Kevin and Lora Goodwin, originally from the Montana side of the Kootenays have now settled in Winlaw. DIY entrepreneurs by nature as a direct result of living and loving rural settings, they have been organic strawberry farmers and run a construction company whose last job was constructing a brand new craft distillery on their land in the Slocan Valley. Their path from idea to pouring their first vodka was four expensive years full of challenges of all sorts. Going all in and giving everything they have to the project in a labour of love the result has been truly impressive, not to mention delicious.
I sat down with Kevin and Lora in their new tasting room, one year after officially launching. Selling out all they can produce while simultaneously working to write and rewrite the laws and regulations, the couple appears closer and happier than ever, still beaming about their new operation.
As you’ll learn they truly are living and bottling the Kootenay spirit.
Their story is so good and the couple so charming, I couldn’t help but turn this into a two part episode.