Chapel Down Spirits

English winemaker Chapel Down is staking a claim on the craft spirits market with the launch of limited edition, premium tipples called The Spirit of Chapel Down.

The range consists of Bacchus Gin (41.2% abv) and Chardonnay Vodka (40% abv), both made with grape skins from the winemaker’s 2016 harvest (rsp: £32-£35/70cl).

Bacchus Gin was “highly aromatic with heady aromas of citrus fruits and a herbal finish”, while Chardonnay Vodka was “expressive with delicate citrus and floral aromas”, it said.

Majestic Wine will be the sole off-trade stockist for four months, after which the new spirits will be made widely available until stocks run out.

There was “a significant opportunity in super-premium spirits” for Chapel Down, said MD Mark Harvey. “We have chosen to develop products with a simplicity of style we think will cut through the competing noise in these high-growth segments.”

The NPD marks a further diversification of Chapel Down’s portfolio, the brand having released a top-end brandy, called Lamberhurst, last year, and invested significantly into its craft brewing operation, Curious Drinks, since 2011, appointing former BrewDog MD Gareth Bath as MD of beer in October.

It comes as an increasing number of beer and wine brands are setting their sights on spirits. Sadler’s Ales this week announced the launch of new whiskey, rum and gin lines under its Peaky Blinder brand, and supermarket stalwart Echo Falls unveiled a flavoured vodka last month.

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