Runamok Maple, located in Northern Vermont, produces organic, barrel-aged, smoked and infused maple syrups. The company’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged, Cinnamon-and-Vanilla Infused and Sugarmaker’s Cut varieties of maple syrup are now available at Fresh Market locations.
Runamok says it prides itself on offering consumers a certified, organic line of maple syrup that features the purest, natural ingredients and a one-of-a-kind flavor. The company is located along the western slopes of Mount Mansfield, spanning 1,100 acres in Cambridge and 250 acres in Fairfield. Crews tap 81,000 trees to make Runamok’s maple syrup.
Tracked vehicles go into the woods and place those 81,000 taps by hand on trees every season using hand tools the same way as sugarmakers have for hundreds of years. Proper preparation in the woods ensures the sap flows into the sugarhouse efficiently and in large volume, says Runamok.
Once the sap comes into the sugarhouse, it is filtered through a reverse osmosis machine. The RO, as it is known, is the same technology used to supply communities with clean drinking water, removing up to 90 percent of the water from the sap before it is boiled. After being concentrated, the sap is sent back to the tank room and to the evaporator where it is boiled down to syrup. If the weather is perfect and the sap is flowing, a run can last for up to 20 hours.
The company has approximately six weeks to make one year’s worth of product.
The last step of the process is to send the finished syrup through a filter press, creating a clear, amber liquid. The color of maple syrup is lightest at the beginning of the year and continues to darken over the course of the season. The taste also changes as the winter recedes and the temperatures warm.