Chapel Down moves into gin and vodkaBy Nicola Carruthers
English wine producer Chapel Down has made its debut in the gin and vodka category with the launch of two expressions, produced with single vintage grapes.
The limited-edition range, called ‘The Spirit of Chapel Down, includes Chapel Down Bacchus Gin and Chapel Down Chardonnay Vodka.
The range is made from distilled grape skins from Chapel Down’s 2016 harvest, with each spirit developed “to reflect the delicate flavour profile” of the wine varietal.
The gin is produced from Bacchus grape skins, a grape variety said to be gaining reputation as England’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc.
Bottled at 42.1%, the expression contains juniper, coriander, elderflower, orris, angelica, lavender, orange peel and lemon. It is described as a “highly aromatic gin with heady aromas of citrus fruits and a herbal finish”.
The vodka is produced from Chardonnay grape skins from the wine producer’s vineyards in Kent.
Bottled at 40% abv, the vodka has notes of “delicate citrus and floral aromas leading to a smooth, creamy palate”, and recommended served in classic serves and cocktails.
The design of the 70ml range links back to the two production processes; distillation and winemaking.
The spirits range follows the Kent-based producer’s launch of Curious beer and cider range and a 23-year-old English grape brandy, said to the first to be made from English grapes.
Josh Donaghay-Spire, head winemaker, comments: “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.”
Mark Harvey, Chapel Down managing director, explains: ”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 (RRP £35.00) and Chapel Down Chardonnay Vodka 2016 (RRP £32.00) is available for a four-month period through Majestic Wine and on Chapel Down’s website. The range will also be available at London cocktail bar group Mr Fogg’s.
The news follows wine maker Echo Falls move into the vodka category with the launch of a flavoured line, which it hopes will replicate the commercial success of its Fruit Fusions range.