Supplier of the Month: Æcorn

by Bolney Wine Estate Limited October 08, 2020

Supplier of the Month: Æcorn

We are proud to be working with amazing suppliers from Sussex, the UK and further afield and we are excited to now be stocking Æcorn Aperitifs both online and in our vineyard shop. We caught up with Toby, brand ambassador for both Seedlip and Æcorn just in time for #SoberOctober to find out the story behind their non-alcoholic range of aperitifs.

How did Æcorn start? And why?

Æcorn Drinks are the world’s first range of premium non-alcoholic aperitifs, launched in 2019. They are informed by 17th century English herbal remedies and inspired by the European Aperitif tradition. Based on English sparkling wine grapes, pressed early and aromatised with herbs, roots and bitter botanicals, they are designed to awaken the appetite, and provide adult, complex options to enjoy with food & friends. Choose from dry, bitter or aromatic, depending on what you fancy.

Since Seedlip’s launch, the world of non-alcoholic has shown itself to be dynamic and exciting, and we hope that the introduction of Æcorn will additionally help solve the dilemma of what to enjoy with food, when you’re not drinking. Seedlip has given those who are not drinking a seat at the bar, and now Æcorn Aperitifs will give everyone who is not drinking, a seat at the table. We at Æcorn love connection; using ties from European culture and embracing British provenance.

Can you explain how you make Æcorn Aperitif?

Æcorn is a blend of early-press Sussex-grown wine grapes, and botanicals from all over the world, including the eponymous British acorn.

  • Why use Sussex wine grapes?
    Sussex is the heartland of Sparkling wine production in the UK due to its exceptional grape quality. We use Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Chardonnay adds elegance and finesse, along with a creamy texture. Pinot Noir adds backbone and body to the blend; contributing to palate weight. Pinot Meunier adds roundness to the blend.
  • Why do you pick early?
    We pick during a time called Veraison to collect the green harvest. This because there are naturally higher levels of acidity in the grapes and lower levels of sugar. Our producer is unique as they focus solely on early picking; Verjus production.
  • What is Verjus?
    Translated as Green Juice, it derives from wine grapes that have been picked during green harvest and pressed to create a tart, refreshing liquid.
  • When and how do you harvest?
    We pick the grapes during a time called Veraison, which in the Northern-Hemisphere, is usually around early to mid-September. This is so we can retain that fresh acidity in the grapes. Veraison is the onset of grape ripening. Loosely translated from French as ‘the changing of colour’. All our grapes are carefully hand-picked and pressed within 12 hours.
  • Why do you use Verjus in Æcorn?
    Verjus forms an excellent foundation to carry the flavour from our botanicals, whilst also adding depth, mouthfeel and refreshing acidity.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Non-Alcoholic drinks are exciting, rapidly emerging and a door into the unexplored. Although there is a feeling of familiarity, like a cousin that you haven’t met yet: Æcorn Aperitifs and Seedlip. It is a new direction for all of us, one that welcomes taste and textures. I found them mature, non-cloying and enticing; they played well with food. These drinks focus on what alcohol gave: weight, body, texture. A drink that lives up to expectation and beyond. What I find great about Æcorn is that we are alcohol ambivalent. Add us into a Lo-groni (equal parts Gin & Æcorn Bitter & Æcorn Aromatic) or for the no ABV lovers, the most famous non-alcoholic cocktail, the NO-groni (using equal parts Seedlip Spice 94, Æcorn Bitter & Æcorn Aromatic).

Why do you like working with Bolney Wine Estate?

Having lived in Sussex for around four years, studying and working in wine, naturally you learn what is around you. Bolney for me is a real pioneer in the UK wine trade. One that certifies quality. Producing an array of excellent wine and tasty still Pinot Noir styles, something that the UK isn’t focused on. I like their innovation and passion to push the trade in the right direction. For us, we are fond of their use of Sussex-grown Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Something that is at the base of our liquids. So, a sense of relation. Both celebrating British (Sussex) provenance.

Shop our range of non-alcoholic and low alcoholic drinks 

Bolney Wine Estate Limited
Bolney Wine Estate Limited

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