Chapel Down has launched its first gin and vodka, produced using grapes from its 2016 harvest.
Chapel Down’s Bacchus Gin 2016 and Chardonnay Vodka 2016 are each created using distilled grape skins from a single vintage year, and each spirit has been developed to reflect the flavour profile of the wine varietal.
The gin is produced from skins of the Bacchus grape, an aromatic variety which is often referred to as “England’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc”, according to the producer. The liquid is infused with juniper, coriander, elderflower, orris, angelica, lavender orange peel and lemon.
Joh Donaghay-Spire, head winemaker, said: “We wanted to create the perfect aromatic gin from our distilled Bacchus grapes. With delicate aromas of citrus peel, juniper and freshly cut grass it makes the perfect, refreshing English gin and tonic.”
The vodka is produced from Chardonnay grapes from Chapel Down’s vineyards in Kent. The resulting vodka is expressive with delicate citrus and floral aromas leading to a smooth, creamy palate, according to the producer.
The limited edition spirits, ‘The Spirit of Chapel Down’, are packaged in custom-made 70cl glass bottles which link back to the two production processes: distilling and winemaking. The bottom half of the bottle reflects a cut-glass crystal decanter and the frosted top half of the bottle denotes the classic shape of a wine bottle.
The Kent-based wine producer already has experiencing in diversifying into other drink sectors. In 2011, the company launched the premium range of Curious beer and cider; each produced with a winemaking twist. It said its Curious Lager, which is re-fermented with Champagne yeast, is recording double digit growth year-on-year. The company also released a 23 year-old English grape brandy last year.
Managing director, Mark Harvey, said: “We see a significant opportunity ahead in super-premium spirits for Chapel Down. We have chosen to develop products with a simplicity of style that we think will cut through the competing noise in these high-growth segments.
“Our winemaker has developed products that faithfully reflect the balance and refreshing taste profile of the grape varietals from which they are made. These products are then packaged in an elegant custom-made, cut-glass design. After two years in development we are now excited to share these new spirits with the growing congregation of Chapel Down fans.”
The Chapel Down Bacchus Gin 2016 will be priced at £35 for 70cl while the Chapel Down Chardonnay Vodka is £32 for 70cl. The two newcomers will be available for a four month period of exclusivity through Majestic Wines and www.chapeldown.com, as well as select on-trade partners.