Big plans are afoot for the opening of a craft gin distillery in the heart of Hastings CBD – thought to be the first of its kind in the region.
By spring wine industry veterans Kate Galloway and David Ramonteu hope to open Hastings Distillers on a corner site in the city’s growing hub of artisanal establishments.
Neither have been involved with distilling in this way before, however it is not completely new to the couple who each have decades of experience in the wine industry.
At this stage their vision was for the distillery to be “akin to a winery cellar door”, rather than a cocktail bar. It would offer tastings of its products – beginning with gin, and seasonal releases of organic eau de vie (fruit brandy).
The couple also had plenty of ideas for what the venue on the corner of Warren St, and Heretaunga St East could host – from education events showing the distilling process and how their products were made, to F.A.W.C! Functions, or even a pre-show cocktail hour ahead of Opera House events.
Although distilling was a “big thing” internationally, interest in craft distilling is only just beginning to increase in New Zealand, with Hastings Distillers potentially the first such business in Hawke’s Bay.
Ms Galloway was chief winemaker for Alpha Domus winery, while Mr Ramonteu grew up in the French Pyrenean farming and wine growing region, where his family’s estate Domaine Cauhape is.