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Vintage Wine Estates acquires No. 209 Gin

American wine group Vintage Wine Estates has acquired the brand and inventory of San Francisco’s Distillery No. 209 for an undisclosed sum.

Distillery No. 209 was a “passion project” of the late Leslie Rudd

The distillery was first established in St Helena, California in 1882, becoming the 209th distillery in the US.

Leslie Rudd, the late head of Vintage Wine Estates who died earlier this year, purchased the estate where the distillery was originally located and spearheaded its historic preservation.

He founded the modern iteration of Distillery No. 209, which was built on Pier 50 in San Francisco 13 years ago. The distillery produces the namesake No. 209 Gin, including a range of cask-aged expressions, and a Kosher vodka.

“My father had an eye for well-crafted items with a unique story and spirits were no exception,” said Samantha Rudd, who upon her father’s death assumed his role as board member and partner at Vintage Wine Estates.

“I am proud to have Vintage Wine Estates carry on the legacy of Distillery No. 209, which was one of his favourite and most personal passion projects.”

Pat Roney, CEO of Vintage Wine Estates, added: “My long-time mentor, partner and friend became steward of Distillery No. 209 almost 20 years ago, preserving its heritage and bringing a craft spirits experience to a new generation. I can think of no better tribute to his vision than to carry it forward.”

Founding master distiller Arne Hillesland will continue to produce No. 209 Gin.

The gin is made using a Midwestern corn base, which is distilled in a 1,000-gallon copper alembic pot still. In addition to juniper, No. 209 Gin includes 11 botanicals to create its “signature profile” of “citrus and spice”.

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