Vya Takes Vermouth the 2017 International Wine Challenge Trophy

Jun 22, 2017

Vya Sweet Vermouth Takes Vermouth Trophy at the 2017 International Wine Challenge

This past May, Vya took home the vermouth trophy for their Vya Sweet Vermouth. The International Wine Challenge (IWC) is held twice a year and takes place over 14 days. Over 15,000 wines are blind tasted by nearly 600 judges which makes the IWC one of the largest and most recognized international wine competitions in the world.  We’re celebrating Vya’s big win by sharing their story and a summer’s worth of delicious and refreshing vermouth cocktails.

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Vya’s Story

Andrew Quady introduced his line of Vya Vermouths in 1999 with the idea that vermouth could be appreciated similarly to the way fine wines are enjoyed—for aroma, complexity, and balance. Quady is known for making fortified dessert wines in the San Joaquin Valley of California at Quady Winery. His expertise in fortified wines naturally lends itself to making vermouth, which is a fortified, aromatized wine.

What Goes Into Vya Vermouth?

The ingredients in all three vermouths, Vya Whisper Dry, Vya Sweet, and Vya Extra Dry begin with a blend of grapes, including Orange Muscat which is grown at the Quady Winery in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The Vya base-wine philosophy is that it should be fresh and clean without a lot of varietal character, providing a palate for the herbs to make something entirely new. In the sweet Vya, some of Quady’s port style wine is mixed in for added color and dimension. The other pieces of the puzzle – the herbs – are sourced from India, Albania, Russia, Spain, Morocco, Mexico to name a few. The herbs are carefully steeped in the right proportions in small batches of fortified wine and transformed into unique vermouth made only at Quady Winery.

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Vya Sweet Vermouth

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Balanced, Aromatic & Rich

Vya Sweet Vermouth conjures an image of holiday baking in your mother’s kitchen. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and clove combine with many warming spices steeped in base wine to create this sensation. Most of the botanicals in Vya Sweet Vermouth are seeds, bark and roots: the energetic parts of plants.

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Vya Sunset Negroni

1.5 oz Vya Sweet Vermouth
1 oz pür•likör spice, blood orange liqueur
1/2 oz Citrus Gin
Fresh squeezed blood orange juice

Top with soda water Basil leaf fo garnish Layer ingredients for aesthetic. Serve in highball glass with crushed ice and garnish with a basil leaf.

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Spring Fizz 

2 oz Vya Sweet Vermouth
½ oz. Deviation
½ oz. Lemon Juice
2 Strawberries
2 Chamomile buds
Top with sparkling wine

1. Slice the strawberries in quarters.
2. In a pint glass, add Vya Sweet Vermouth, steep the strawberry slices and chamomile for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the chamomile buds
4. Muddle the strawberries
5. Add the Deviation and lemon juice.
6. Fill the glass with ice and shake well.
7. Strain over ice into rocks glass.
8. Garnish with a chamomile bud.

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The Socialite

1.5 oz *Raspberry infused Vya Sweet Vermouth
4 oz sparkling Wine
4 raspberries

Place four raspberries in a champagne flute. Add Vya infusion. Top off with with sparkling wine.

*Vya Raspberry Infusion:

1/2 pint (1 cup) rasberries
6 ounces (3/4 cup) Vya Sweet Vermouth
2 tbsp superfine sugar

Gently stir raspberries, Vya, and sugar in a bowl. Let stand for an hour. Stirring occasionally. Strain.

Vya Whisper Dry Vermouth

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Refreshing, Elegant & Smooth

Whisper refers to a mere “whisper of herbs” in wine. Herbs containing bitter components were excluded from the Whisper Dry formula in favor of those with flower and forest like character. A few of these include: linden, elecampane, and needles from a certain fir tree in Maine that contribute a soft evergreen character.

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The Pacific Crest Trail 

1 oz Vya Whisper Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz pür•likör spice, blood orange liqueur
1/2 oz fino sherry
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
splash soda water
6 sprigs fresh thyme

Gently muddle 6 sprigs of thyme in a mixing tin. Add the rest of the ingredients, shake, and strain into a white wine glass filled with ice. Top with soda. Garnish with fresh thyme

Recipe created by by Summer Jane Bell and photo by Kelly Puleio.

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Vya Watermelon Mojito

2 oz Vya Whisper Dry
4 chunks of fresh cut watermelon
3/4 oz *lime zest simple syrup
6 leaves fresh mint
Splash of soda water

Combine ingredients in a glass and muddle. Add ice. Top with soda, garnish with more mint.

*Lime Zest Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lime Zest

Cook sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in lime zest. Let cool. Strain.

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Rosé Sangria

750 ml Quady North Rosé
375 ml Vya Whisper Dry
2 cups lychee juice
2 cups cava
¼ cup Rose petal simple syrup
Fresh rose petals

Rose buds and fresh mint leaves for garnish

Vya Extra Dry Vermouth

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Crisp, Floral & Vibrant

To achieve its incredible bouquet Vya Extra Dry Vermouth is carefully hand infused in small batches at Quady Winery with a selection of over fifteen whole dried herbs from the leaves and flowers of plants. Some of these include lavender, red clover, blessed thistle, and gentian.

90 pts, Wine Enthusiast 

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Lemon Tea Crush

1/2 oz Blue Ice Vodka
3/4 oz Vya Extra Dry Vermouth
Splash lemonade
Splash double strength fresh brewed passion fruit black iced tea

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Recipe created by Dana Fares.

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Violet Sour

1 ½ oz Vya Extra Dry
1 oz Elysium Black Muscat
¼ oz Violet Syrup*
½ oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Egg White

1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
2. Strain into a coupe glass.
3. Garnish with a violet.

*Violet Syrup

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
15- 20 violet petals

Combine over heat. Stir until dissolved into syrup. Turn off heat. Add violet petals. Let stand for 25 minutes. Strain.

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Western Sage Mule

2 oz Vya Extra Dry Vermouth
2 oz ginger beer
1 3/4 oz High West American Prairie Bourbon
4 blackberries
3/4 oz lime juice
1 1/2 oz sage simple syrup*

Muddle blackberries in the bottom of the mug. Pour in sage syrup and lime juice. Fill glass with ice. Top with American Prairie, Vya Extra Dry, and ginger beer. Stir to combine. Garnish.

*Sage simple syrup

½ cup sugar
7 sage leaves
Bring sugar and ½ cup of water to boil in a saucepan. Stir in sage. Remove from heat. Let cool completely. Strain.

Recipe created by Dana Fares.

For more recipes using Vya and Quady Wines products, click here.