La Garagista did more than put Vermont wine on the national radar. It helped inspire the next wave of Vermont vignerons (people who grow and make their own wine), including our good friends Johnny and Christopher of Fable Farm Fermentory, who make apple and grape wines, and Ethan Joseph, head winegrower at Shelburne Vineyard and Iapetus. Ethan started as Ken’s apprentice in 2008 before eventually becoming the head winegrower. Inspired by the movement of natural wine, Ethan launched a second label under Shelburne Vineyard in 2016 called Iapetus. It is wine made with as much focus on tending to the vineyard as to the cellar. Fermentation is spontaneous and the result is an expression with a true sense of place.
The backbone of this project, Hotel Vermont x Iapetus, was the fierce red grape Marquette. With its high levels of acidity and fruit-forwardness, this grape is the last to be harvested in order for the sugar to develop and the acidity to balance out. This often results in a wine north of 14%. We wanted Marquette, but leaner, juicier, and more Glou Glou.