True To Northern California
“Going to the woods is going home,” beams John Muir, the celebrated Scottish-American conservationist, in his 1901 collection of essays entitled Our National Parks. As one of the crucial figures in shaping the environmentalist movement in the United States, Muir has become a particularly important folk hero in Northern California, a region he extolled and called home for the latter portion of his 76 years. His writings on Yosemite and the natural splendors of the American West inspired poets, painters, and—importantly—lawmakers to take a proactive approach to protecting our lands for future generations.
The ethos of Muir’s words and spirit is essential to Purple Wine + Spirits, which has been based among the towering trees in Sonoma County since Derek Benham founded the business in 2001. Benham, who grew up in California with a mother who enjoyed bird watching and hiking, continues to have a profound respect for nature that bleeds into every facet of his personal and professional life.
All of this leads to the June launch of Redwood Empire Whiskey. The team at Purple has been steadily amassing the assets to be at the top of Western whiskey in the near future—Redwood Empire is both the largest producer of whiskey and has the largest inventory of aging whiskey in the state of California. This is how they got there.