Made in the Valley: Sweet Potato Spirits

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A North Valley company is making its mark for its locally grown and made sweet potato vodka. (Amanda Venegas)

David Souza said the business was developed between his kitchen and his garage from 2007-2010. He started by purchasing a book off the Internet and bought the pieces to put together a still. The crucial part of the whole process was developing the recipe.

Souza has been farming in the valley since 1920, I have been a licensed distillery since 2009 and have offered distilled spirits for sale since 2011. Sweet Potato Spirits has 3 full time people to make the product and seven sales people throughout the state to bring the product to market.

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Unlike most distilleries in the world, their process starts on the farm. They plant, grow, harvest and store all of the sweet potatoes and grain that goes into their products. After each variety is stored to reach maximum sugar levels, they then wash them and bring them into the distillery to grind and cook them. After a slow cooking and cooling process, they then pitch yeast and ferment 5 to 7 days. After fermentation is complete the product goes into distillation. Once product is distilled to 190 proof they then dilute it to 120 proof and filter it through coconut carbon. It is then further diluted to 80 proof, chilled to 28 degrees, and filtered through a micro paper filter. Then it is ready to bottle.

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Sweet Potato Spirits product is distributed state wide in California, Tennessee, and Georgia. Their biggest markets are in the Central Valley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Atlanta. The Vodka is as Corbin Sweet Potato Vodka and Corbin Cash rye whiskey.

Souza said the best part has been creating products that people enjoy and diversifying his family's business into another direction.

Related Topics:
businessmade in the valleymade in americaAtwater
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