Hawke's Bay gin distillers claim gold medal for country's first certified organic spirit

Hawke's Bay has long been known for its wine and it’s now home to some of the world’s best gin.

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It's taken years of research, but after just eight months in business, a small Hastings distiller has scooped a gold medal for its organic spirit. Source: 1 NEWS

It's taken years of research but after just eight months in business, a small Hastings distillery has scooped a global gold medal for the country’s first certified organically-produced spirit.

Hastings distillers Albertine claimed a gold medal at this year's international wine and spirits awards.

It has been a three-year journey for career wine makers Kate Galloway and David Ramonteu to create the gin.

The journey began with over 300 different distilled botanicals which were then narrowed down to double digits.

It wasn't easy to narrow down the flavour options.

“Our first iteration was 96 botanicals but eventually we got it down to 38 core botanicals,” Ms Galloway said.

The majority of botanicals are sourced from local sustainable farms, making it New Zealand's first certified organic spirit.

“Accoutants would say that we are foolish but the creative endeavour is that we are trying to make things the best that they can be,” said Ms Galloway.

Despite overall consumption of spirits in New Zealand declining, Statistics New Zealand show gin sales have had a renaissance over the last five years, increasing by over 60 per cent.

Experts say New Zealand is well placed to produce the globally popular pour.

“It’s the same reason as to why our wine globally is acknowledged as some of the best int he world - it’s really because of our environment, it’s the place and space,” Robert Brewer of Spirit NZ said.