Utah is now one of 11 states to carry a new brand of liquor made by the Cedar Band, one of the five bands of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah.
The beverages produced under the Twisted Cedar label are grown and produced in California, but the group has laid down Utah roots with an office in Cedar City.
“We’re the only wine produced by a native tribe that’s scalable,” said Phillip Anderson, regional account manager for the Cedar Band. “There are number of other small tribes doing wine, but it tends to be 100 cases here or 200 cases there, and that’s not really enough to be established in the market.”
Anderson said the key principles guiding the venture are sustainability with growing and producing, and upholding the vision and values of the tribe.
“Every step along the way, we take things to the tribal council and we make sure that we’re saying and doing things the way they want them done,” Anderson said.
The project began as a way for the band to diversify their export power and become financially stable after government contracting proved to be too narrow a market to maintain a sustainable income.
“The fact that the money from the wines go back to the tribe for social services really makes it nice, makes my job easier and a lot more fulfilling to know that I’m doing something that is going to help some people out that could use some help,” Anderson said.
The label produces seven wines, three of which are currently available in Utah stores.