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Black Dirt Distilling was formed in March, 2012 in order to meet the demand of the newly crafted and already renowned Black Dirt Bourbon and Black Dirt Apple Jack, born at the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery. The new Black Dirt Distillery expands upon the years of experience in both distillation and marketing that co-founders and managing partners Jason Grizzanti and Jeremy Kidde have accumulated. Over the last decade, they have produced and distributed a number of award winning brandies and liqueurs under the American Fruits brand, in addition to their critically acclaimed Warwick gin.
The Black Dirt region of New York State, also known as the Drowned Lands, consists of the remains of a shallow lake that formed 12,000 years ago during the glacial period. The ebony soil is so rich and unique as to be an anomaly. In some areas the soil is comprised of up to 90 percent organic matter, considered by some to be “one great big compost heap,” from both the glacial lake and repeated flooding of the Wallkill River, and can go as deep as 30 feet. More mastodons have been unearthed there than anywhere else on Earth.
Though only just over an hour’s drive from Manhattan, the black dirt spans more than 5,500 acres, and produces over half of the onions grown in New York as well as some of the best sod, pumpkins, and corn in the country, not to mention herbs, lettuce, and other greens. The black dirt, sometimes referred to as “muck soil” by locals, has recently been designated the official soil of New York State.