Hawke’s Bay producers win wine awards, craft beer awards, cider awards … why not gin?

Albertine gin, produced by Hastings Distillers, just took the sole gold awarded in the Contemporary Gin category at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, widely regarded as the most prestigious in the world.

Hastings Distillers was established just eight months ago by Kate Galloway and David Ramonteu, offering New Zealand’s first Biogro-certified organic spirits and liquers.

You can sample their range of unique gin, using botanicals sourced from the distillery’s carefully tended ‘gin gardens’, at their stylish tasting room at 231 Heretaunga Street East.

Try the gin, enjoy a bite to eat, or buy a bottle to savour at home.

The award-winning Albertine gin contains 38 organic botanicals and is batch distilled in a 150L Arnold Holstein still, then cut to strength with local Kaweka spring water.

Judges praised its “complex and perfumed nose”, noting that the Albertine is “layered with intense lemon, pine and fresh green fruit…fruity, refined and fragrant…complemented by a clean balance of juniper and fresh fruit”.

Are we sure this isn’t a wine?

Kate says: “Our passion has always been to create premium craft spirits that follow nature’s lead, drawing on our broad background in winemaking to develop our love of all things botanical.”

Baybuzz, a fan of Bloody Marys, asked, ‘Why not vodka?!”

Kate responds: “Vodka production is more about stripping away the flavour of the agricultural origin to get a neutral base, while we are more interested in layering the canvas with medicinal, aromatic and therapeutic herbs.”

Ouch … take that, vodka! But they’re not ruling it out in the future.

In addition to their Hastings off-license store, online shop and tasting room, there are plans to establish a stall at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market in the very near future. Bring your own tonic!


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