Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure.
Our featured winery is so; basically, I opened the Hidden Legend Winery for at Harvard Business School would call the worst possible reason to open a business. That's because the neighbors thought it was a good idea. In this episode, we head to the state that has the largest migratory Elk herd in the nation, the only state with a triple divide allowing water to flow into the Pacific, Atlantic, and Hudson Bay. We head to Victor, Montana. I'm Ken Shultz, and I am the founder and winemaker at Hidden Legend Winery in Victor, Montana. Ok, Ken, let's go back to the beginning. Where did this spark come from?
Well, when we were kids, I had an uncle that was a research chemist and a serious hobby winemaker, friends with the head of the technology department at Purdue, and various vineyard owners. And things of that nature in his basement had all the right glassware. It was like Frankenstein's laboratory. So I guess that was the spark. Oh, yeah, that was early. You know, under 13, I turned 21. I was going to school in Lausanne, Switzerland. I worked overseas for a number of years, and I came back. I got married when I was twenty-three, and the very first time I owned a closet, I made wine. Me personally, I've lived all over Montana, and I just love the big sky. But how about, you know, I was still in Ohio when I got married, and we came out here, we got married in seventy-five, went out to Montana, saw it, fell in love with the place in seventy-six, and finally moved here in seventy-nine. Well, my wife is Norwegian, and she thought it looked like Norway, and because I had worked there, I thought it looked like northern Pakistan but no monkeys or water buffalo. There's something captivating about the Bitterroot Mountains. You can look off in the distance and see a whole train. Well, you know, at some point when hiking and fishing and vistas and all of you know, the alluring things of Montana kind of settle down to a little bit. I thought I'd make some wine, and evidently, I hadn't thought it through very well because there are no grapes. However, I had read The Hobbit, and I knew what meat was. And so I came across a bucket of honey that somebody was just disposing of, and I thought I'd make Mead. I mentioned it to my peers in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and they were like, oh, my God, can no, don't make me. It's horrible. It's thick. It's Vikings who drank it. You'll give winemakers a bad name. I thought, well, you snob's, I'll show you that I can make a mead every bit as complex as your wines. And so I made Mead in the mid-eighties. Let me just put it this way. I have a driveway that's a half a mile long, three switchbacks up a mountainside. And the guy that used to keep it clear for me in the wintertime would do it twice for a for a bottle. Ok, let's rewind just a little bit without getting technical, but getting technical just to fill everybody in and be incredibly neat is often referred to as honey wine, but that's not really accurate. You make the wine with honey, water, and yeast rather than fruit. So technically, meat is kind of in its own category of an alcoholic beverage. The word Mead goes way back to the Sanskrit and the word Megu is honey in Sanskrit. And it's where the English word Medo comes from, which doesn't mean-field of flowers. It means we're nectars gathered. And so Mead is actually a shortened meadow. Well, I imagine that the chemical process is very similar. You're dealing with sugars, but just different kinds of sugars. So are there some nuances to the whole process? The process is very similar, although we do have to create an environment for the yeast in honey because there's nothing in it, but sugar and a grape contains just the right amount of nutrients and trace minerals and acids and sugars in it to make wine. And the powder on the outer skin is yeast. So if you break a grape, you can't stop it from making wine, whereas honey needs to be adjusted a bit before it'll ferment. Here's part two of our interview with Ken Schultz of Hidden Legend Winery here. It's very exciting.
He tells us what is very exciting. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of the Best 5 Minute Wine podcast was produced by IHSYM. If you like the show, tell your friends and pets and subscribe. Until next time, pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.