As you pass by the tall window in the brick wall of The Depot you may catch a glimpse of the gleaming copper body of the still that produces the magic. Tucked away in a corner of this historic precinct, overlooking the courtyard, a couple of creative scientists have taken their love of The Coromandel and bottled it.

The environment started it

Paul and Daniela came to The Coromandel as conservationists and later decided to establish a creative enterprise that was aligned with their core values and a business that would have a light footprint. The care and experimentation required in the distilling process sat well with these researchers. Fuelled by a desire to create something local that they could be proud of, the true motivation of this team lies in the hospitality of sharing the gin. As more and more people come to appreciate the enjoyment of small-batch distilling the liquors are gaining broad appeal. Provenance is very important to this team and they love sharing the flavours of the place with friends and family and visitors to the distillery.  From the care they take in sourcing the botanicals and water for the liquor through to the packaging and naming of the spirit, the personal values of Paul and Daniela shine through. And that’s why they are happy to add their signature to every bottle of the award-winning Awildian Gin.

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A sustainable business

Building a full-on commercial business was never the plan. It has always been about marrying their care for the environment with a desire to create something to share that speaks to their deep sense of place. In addition to their everyday actions, Coromandel Distilling is part of “1% for the Planet” network of organisations on a mission to address the most urgent environmental issues of our time. They donate 1% of their sales to support practical environmental solutions. It’s just them, it’s a family affair, no corporate investors, so that means that Paul and Daniela a free to run their business according to their personal principles.

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Recent acclaim at the New Zealand spirits awards was early and welcome, and it’s been followed up with international recognition. The only gold medal given to a New Zealand spirit at the 2022 Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Competition went to their Awildian Coromandel Mānuka Gin.  Add to that the World's Best Classic Gin (World Gin Awards 2022). Get your hands on this special drop at the cellar door and online.  But it’s the feedback from the curious novices and gin aficionados alike that makes the labour of love worthwhile. Coromandel Distilling Company also took out the Supreme Award at the 2021 Hauraki Coromandel Business Awards, so it is not only the gin that stands out.

The next time you’re in Thames, check out The Depot and make your way to the restored brick still room where it all happens. By definition the batches are small and some are truly bespoke and experimental so you need to get in quickly. We reckon it's worth dropping by just to view the packaging and the still, but you will surely find yourself taking a sip. And the gin certainly makes a spectacular gift or memento of your time in The Coromandel.