A Philippine wine that caused a rebellion in the country in 1807 recently entered the wine market. Basi, the Ilocano term for sugarcane wine in the northern part of the Philippines, has been produced in the Southeast Asian nation way before the Spanish conquistadors came to the region.
The Basi Revolt in the early 1800’s took a number of lives from the Philippine and Spanish sides after Spanish-occupied Philippines was subjected to the expropriation of Basi production and sales. A wine brand from the area, Basi del Diablo, recently launched its wine products in the country and is poised to enter the international wine market by 2015. The brand hopes to revive the local winemaking industry in the islands.
“Our brand has an interesting story, “ says founder and CEO Sigrid Salucop. Almost a hundred years after the Basi Revolt of 1807, Salucop’s great grandfather Gabriel made his very first batch of Basi. Gabriel later passed on his recipe to his seven sons. The youngest, Benito, kept on making the wine and sold it in his small shop at 10 centavos a cup.
“He stored the fermented sugarcane in clay jars just outside of his home located in the downtown area of Batac, Ilocos Norte,” says Salucop. She added that her grandfather’s Basi kept going missing. “My grandfather thought of something to keep thieves at bay,” Salucop says as she recalls her father’s stories about Benito. “Benito told one of his patrons that he saw a demon in his yard and that it lurked where he kept his wine. From then on, no thieves came near his home. This is where the brand got its name.”
Basi del Diablo currently has a campaign on crowd-funding site Indiegogo to get support for its export goals. (http://igg.me/at/basideldiablo/x/5995939) The proud Filipino brand is set to breathe new life to a more sustainable wine-making industry in the Philippines. Salucop adds, “It’s my dream to employ as many people as possible and buy from neighboring sugarcane farms in the north once we see an increase in demand.”
Lets start 2015 by supporting our own wine. Please like and visit Basi del Diablo‘s Facebook page. Or, you can reach Sigrid via her email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All images are courtesy of Sigrid Salucop.