The Wines of Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte is fast gaining ground in winemaking. Besides the traditional basi (a liquor made of fermented sugarcane), Duhat and Bugnay wines are now being sold commercially. Tapuey can be found in the fascinating mountainous town of Adams.

Cormel Foods, an Ilocano company owned by Anthony Abadilla, has brought Ilocano liquor to the forefront through trade and tourism exhibits. Even Robinsons Supermarket IN now carries Cormel Foods’ innovative products. Duhat (Java plum, or lomboy) Wine has become one of the customary goodwill presents from Ilocano tourists visiting relatives and friends abroad.

Tapuey (rice wine) making is an art mastered by Lola Ingga Acupan of Adams. She inherited the recipe from her Kankanaey ancestors. It is made through fermentation by adding yeast to half-cooked organic mountain diket or balatinaw, sticky rice varieties. Sweet and delicate characterize exotic tapuey.

Another Adams wine product is Bugnay (wild blackberies) Wine. The people of Adams are constantly experimenting on other possible fruity alcoholic concoctions. At a local trade fair, I got to try Santol Wine, a great alternative to white wine, I guess.

Happy shot session!

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