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Gin producer scores global success

A Wairarapa gin distillery is toasting its success at one of the world’s most prestigious wine and spirits competitions.

Greytown Distilling Company [GDC] won gold for its Tweed gin while its Frostbite gin took home silver at the recent 2024 International Wine and Spirits Competition [IWSP] held in London.

Gavin Hodder, the company’s chief financial officer, said GDC is “extremely gratified” to be recognised in what is considered the global home of gin after only being in the market for less than 18 months.

“Over 4500 gins from all over the world entered this competition and, as a tribute to our team and our investors, it is wonderful to see Greytown gins come through with such success,” Hodder said.

“In fact, Tweed is now placed alongside the world’s top 50 gins.”

“Tweed gin was one of our original releases at the end of 2022, and right from the moment we tasted our Master Distiller Peter Warren’s masterpiece, we knew we had something very special.”

“The delicate and inviting aromatic profile opens with citrus notes, leading to a palate abundant in zesty orange and satsuma peel flavours,” the judging panel said.

“A long, generous finish showcases perfect balance and an indulgent silky quality, with a lingering touch of pine and musk adding depth and complexity.”

“We’re not going to argue with that!” Hodder noted.

Meanwhile, the silver medal winner, Frostbite gin, was re-released just last month due to growing popular demand after its initial run as a winter speciality gin was well received in 2023.

“Our customers were the enthusiastic judges of Frostbite gin,” Hodder said, “and they actually demanded we re-release Frostbite for a second winter this year.”

“It is our runaway best seller and is rapidly making its reputation known all over New Zealand.

“Our ability to keep up with demand for Frostbite is being tested right now, but we are doing our best.”

“Aromas of orange blossom, satsuma, and white flowers greet the senses, while appealing woody undertones add depth,” the IWSP judges said.

“The palate is delicate and creamy, evolving into an herbaceous and bold experience.

“The attractive, peppery finish leaves a delightfully lasting impression.”

GDC director Adam Blackwell said winning gold is a “game changer” for his town and significant from both a sales and tourism perspective.

Both Tweed and Frostbite gins have begun being served in high-end cocktail bars and restaurants across New Zealand, and although the distillery isn’t exporting yet, Blackwell told the Times-Age it is aiming to ship to Australia, Asia and Europe in the next 12 months.

“We make nine different gins right now and are starting work on bourbon-style whiskey, which needs two years of barrel ageing before it can be made available for sale,” he said.

The business opened in December 2022 and is owned by Blackwell, Hodder, and Peter Warren.

“We also have around 60 local investors, mostly Wairarapa people, who crowd-funded the distillery,” Blackwell said.

Greytown Distilling Company gins are available in unique stainless steel flasks of 375ml and 750ml that are lightweight, easy to store chilled, and recyclable.

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