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Chapel Down dips toes further into spirits with vodka and gin duo

Published:  30 November, 2017

Chapel Down has launched a spirits range comprising vodka and gin to tap the opportunity for ‘super premium’ tipples.

Produced using grapes from the English wine producer’s 2016 harvest, the premium positioned Bacchus Gin and Chardonnay Vodka are available from today in 70cl bottles priced £35 and £32 respectively.

The limited edition, which is available from Majestic and London cocktail group Mr Fogg’s for a four month period, brought together winemaking expertise with modern distillation techniques to produce a “unique range of English spirits”, said Chapel Down.

The Kent-based wine maker already has experience in diversifying into other drinks categories. It launched premium beer and cider brand Curious Brew, which is re-fermented with Champagne yeast, in 2011 followed by the introduction of a 23-year-old English grape brandy last year.

Chapel Down will be hoping the new spirits duo, which has been in development for two years, will replicate the success of Curious lager, which it said was generating double-digit year-on-year growth.

”We see a significant opportunity ahead in super-premium spirits for Chapel Down,” said MD Mark Harvey, adding the producer had chosen to develop products with a simplicity of style that it thought would “cut-through the competing noise in these high-growth segments”.

The 41.2% abv gin is produced from distilled Bacchus grape skins and infused with juniper, coriander, elderflower, orris, angelica, lavender, orange peel and lemon, while the 40% abv vodka is produced from distilled Chardonnay grape skins to create and expressive versatile vodka suitable for use in an array of classic serves and cocktails.

In a nod to Chapel Down’s wine roots, the spirits come in glass bottle that link back to the two production processes - distillation and winemaking, with the bottom half of the bottle reflecting a cut-glass crystal decanter and the frosted top half of the bottle denoting the classic shape of a wine bottle.

“Our winemaker has developed products that faithfully reflect the balance and refreshing taste profile of the grape varietals from which they are made,” said Harvey.

In October, Chapel Down appointed previous BrewDog MD Gareth Bath to the newly created position of ‘MD of beer” to head up “ambitious” growth plans for Curious, which it unveiled a new look for at the same time.