Break from the grape with Maan Farms’ Fruit Wine
We ditched the pinot for a minute to try Maan Farms’ fruit wine. It did not disappoint.
Gaurav Maan is the youngest member of the Maan family and the resident winemaker. He got into making wine when he was 19 years old and has carved out a niche for himself in the family business.
“I got thrown into the winery and made that my own thing,” said Maan. “I think it was definitely a good call for my parents to give me my own space on the winery versus being on the farm.”
Juggling university and winemaking, Maan was often up late into the night and early in the morning perfecting the process.
“When I was first making them I would spend some of my nights and mornings making them because it was just me and so they are kind of like my babies,” said Maan.
In 2014 his babies were threatened when an arsonist set the Maan’s barn ablaze, wiping out the market, including the tasting room. Maan realized that without the tasting room he couldn’t sell wine, so he hit the pavement.
“The fires definitely sparked something in me where I realized I had to work at it so it made me innovate and do something different,” said Maan. “I was like 19 or 20 and I just went to liquor stores and started pouring it. At that point, I didn’t know if people would like it and it was definitely intimidating.”
In the first year, Maan says he supplied 10 to 15 stores, then 30 to 40, and now his fruit wines can be found in 160 stores and was just accepted into Save On Foods.
“I listen to some motivational speakers and there’s a saying I like, which is ‘your biggest revenge is massive success,’” said Maan.
The Berry vs. The Grape
There are only a handful of fruit wineries in BC, so as far as direct competition is concerned, but he’s up against a much bigger giant – the wine industry.
“Your biggest competitor is not another fruit winery, it’s other wineries in general,” said Gaurav. “You are trying to convince people to drink your fruit wine over their grape wine.”
Maan Farms fruit wine has the traceability that winemakers in regions like Naramata dream of. All the fruit comes from the 80-acre family farm. This helps keep costs down and quality up, so Maan can make the wine with 100 percent berry juice, rather than adding water, which is allowed in fruit wine.
“It didn’t make me feel good that I was trying to make wine out water, so I kept it to just berries and there are about two pounds of berries per bottle,” said Maan.
The result is fruit wines that truly taste like the fruit without being overly sweet. The blackberry and blueberry are full-bodied and tannic, like a merlot. The strawberry rhubarb, which truly smells like fresh strawberries, is on the sweeter side and is perfect for an afternoon cheeseboard or dessert wine.
Maan suggests using the wine in spritzers, or a Kir Royal and blackberry sangria. We suggest pouring the strawberry rhubarb over ice cream.
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