This is year five working with Katia Duke! She has once again surprised me with her innovative experiments in fermentation, varietals, and methods for drying cherries. Her approach is unique as it pairs the institutional knowledge of multigenerational farming with a high level of technical expertise. Given she has a degree in Agronomy from the prestigious San Morano University, her San Isidro farm maintains an exacting precision at every single stage from crop through processing and milling.
For a Quietly Holiday this year, I brought in one of Katia’s rare natural processed lots. Her expertise at processing always shines like Rudolph’s nose in the cup, but this year’s harvest is honestly her best work yet. It opens with heavy sweetness and dense notes of fig and plum. A spicy orange carries the cup into its rich chocolate and rum-raisin finish. With each sip, it fills me with memories of the long ride home from my Grandmother’s farm, being extra warm in a too-big winter parka with the icy and frozen prairies passing by in the bright starlit night.