It’s been operating for just eight months, but Hastings Distillers has already won global acclaim, earning a much sought-after gold medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC).
Hastings Distillers’ Albertine gin took the sole gold awarded in the Contemporary Gin category at the IWSC, a competition that has, for over 50 years, rewarded excellence in drinks worldwide.
Based within Hastings’ eclectic East 200 precinct – a thriving artisanal community – Hastings Distillers was established in 2019 by Kate Galloway and David Ramonteu, offering New Zealand’s first Biogro-certified organic spirits and liquers. Producing its range of unique gin, using botanicals sourced from the distillery’s carefully tended “gin gardens”, Hastings Distillers also offers a stylish tasting room at 231 Heretaunga Street East. Here, guests can sample the three products in the Hastings Distillers range, 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. It can be enjoyed as a contemporary gin and tonic, on ice as a sipping gin or as a base ingredient in a cocktail.
IWSC 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…complimented by a clean balance of juniper and fresh fruit”.
Kate says it’s an honour to have been recognised in a competition widely regarded as the most prestigious in the world. “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. It’s wonderful that our small, family business has captured the attention of the judges, and helped to put New Zealand organic gin – and Hastings in particular – on the map.”
Adds David: “Winning this award is very encouraging and a real testament to what can be achieved when following your instincts and ideologies. We are pleased and very proud that while our products align strongly with our artistic ambitions, they have also stood up to a panel of experts.”
The Albertine gin is one of three craft spirits produced by Hastings Distillers – their East Block 200 gin and L’Opera aperitif complete the line-up. In addition to their Hastings off-license store, online shop and tasting room, there are plans to establish a stall at the much-loved Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market in the very near future.