Woman’s rare wine business is blooming just in time for spring

Free Range Flower Winery is changing the wine game, swapping grapes for flowers

Jen Tobias-Struski learns more about a flower wine that's blooming in popuali
Jen Tobias-Struski learns more about a flower wine that's blooming in popuali

SAN ANTONIO – It’s a category that doesn’t necessarily exist in the wine industry and co-owner of Free Range Flower Winery Aaliyah Nitoto is proud to share this love for “floral” wines that include her favorite flower, lavender. The California-based winery is quickly selling out of their Lavender wine, Hibiscus Rose wine and Marigold wine.

“It’s unlike anything you’ve ever tasted,” Nitoto said.

This process is rare, yet not new. According to the Free Range Flower winery website, the first references come from ancient Romans who infused libations with rose petals and violets. China’s Han Dynasty introduced chrysanthemum wine to the world, and American colonists experimented with dandelion vino. Today, innovative producers are re-creating floral wines by fermenting the flowers themselves.

“It’s actually been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s been made in homes of women all over the world, but it’s one of those arts that was marginalized, so I’m just bringing it back to the public,” Nitoto said.

For Nitoto, this passion blooms from her love for wine and her determination to launch this business in Oakland, California.

“I’m an herbalist and a nutrition educator and a scientist and i’ve always loved wine, so when I found out about these particular wines and I found out that they were made by women, I was so excited,” Nitoto said. "

Here’s a look at the products (which, by the way, do sell out fast).

Lavender Wine

THE WINE: Handcrafted in small batches from locally sourced, organically farmed lavender flowers and lemons--not grapes.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: A soft rosé blush and an assertive floral nose with an implied sweetness.

TASTING NOTES: “Deliciously different!” (ENOFYLZ Wine Blog) Crisp and dry with a bright mouth-feel, refreshing acidity, and an elegant clarity of expression with hints of citrus, juniper, and aniseed.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Our lavender wine pairs well with savory, salty, and sweet entrées. It’s a spirited apéritif, dessert, or brunch partner and a dynamic ingredient in wine cocktails made with mezcal, tequila, rum, gin, vodka, absinthe, and various liqueurs. Serve chilled in a champagne flute.

Hibiscus Rose Wine

THE WINE: Handcrafted in small batches from locally sourced, organically farmed rose and hibiscus flowers and oranges—not grapes.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Electric ruby-red in the glass, with hints of sandalwood and vanilla on the nose.T

ASTING NOTES: Dry and light-bodied, a harmonious balance of earth and fruit flavors, sage and raspberry, luxuriously spicy with silky tannins.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: RoseHybiscus pairs well with zesty barbeque, charcuterie, and classic Italian and Spanish dishes. Best served chilled.

Marigold Wine

THE WINE: Handcrafted in small batches from marigold flowers and lemon. Our flowers and fruit are locally sourced and organically farmed.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Golden in the glass, freshly mowed grass, summer sun, and white chocolate truffle on the nose.

TASTING NOTES: Vibrant, juicy, and polished. Full-bodied and well-balanced with an enlivening, herbal finish. Bright feeling.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Marigold wine pairs well with creamy sauces, baked fish, and garden herbs. Best served chilled.

If You would like to order from Free Range Winery, click here and use the promo code: MAGICALWINE.

For more on Free Range Flower WInery, click here.


About the Author:

Jennifer Tobias-Struski loves her hometown of San Antonio, and is proud to celebrate it every day working on SA Live. The Emmy-Award winning producer hosts the Mom-Day series, featuring fun, family-themed segments from crafting to fashion hacks every Monday.