The cannabis and wine worlds are merging and not just so that liquor companies can become licensed dealers. Just take a look at Flow Kana, who recently purchased a Redwood Valley parcel that was once owned by the Fetzer family. Also, Ted Simpkins of Southern Wine & Spirits has started a cannabis distribution company; and now you don’t even need to separate your love of wine and weed—just pour both into a single glass. Weed wine is the latest trend in cannabis edibles, and we’re here to predict that it’s going blow like a champagne cork at Le Mans.
So far, in California, winemakers can capitalize on the growing trend of legal marijuana consumption. Canna Vine is one of them, offering a high-end marijuana beverage that combines organically grown marijuana and farmed grapes.
The grapes arrive at the winery for destemming and pressing. After the juice goes into a tank or barrel, fermentation begins. The next part of the process is something like tincture-making in that the alcohol created by the fermented grapes and juice extracts the cannabinoids and terpenes from the fresh cannabis flower and decarboxylated bud. This is the true infusion technique, steeping the pot like tea leaves; this style of green wine is commonly described as a “tincture” for legal reasons.
Before bottling most white wines are cold stabilized and then filtered but marijuana infused wine is not filtered before bottling thus preserving more flavor, and TCH within the wine. It is ill-advised for winemakers to add sulfur to this infused wine as sulfur can denature the THC compounds. The result is a light-tasting wine that brings on a body high without the mental disorientation. The Canna Vine creators experiment with two new strains each time, one sativa and one indica, to find an ideal balance between uplifting and relaxing sensations.
Once poured, cannabis wine looks more like St. Paddy’s than a glass of Francis Ford Coppola but marijuana wine’s mellow “body high, ” and vibrant green could appeal to home bartenders. Incorporate into a cocktail to leave guests feeling cheerful and ready for a good night’s sleep. In Canada and most US states, it’s illegal to infuse alcohol with weed, even in states where adult-use marijuana use is legal. However, if you are in California and have a marijuana license, you can find the following brands.
1. Canna Vine red or white, each with 50mg of CBD-rich hemp extract.
2. Rebel Coast makes a Marijuana Infused Cloud Colony Sauvignon Blanc
[As of today, the Rebel Coast website currently bears the following message: “We are stoked so many folks want a bottle of our Marijuana Infused wine. However, we are a small California winery, so bear with us.”]
3. Know Label Wines is Melissa Ethridge’s brand of biodynamic certified vineyard grapes and organically grown cannabis flower. Full (750ml), half (375ml), and 6.3fl oz bottles are available.
Of course, you could always try making your own steeped green wine, à la Wind Gap Winery’s, Pax Mahle.
Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.