"What are you going to do with all the pears?"
It all began when in May 2021 we fell in love with a house just outside of Whanganui/New Zealand and decided to relocate from windy Wellington. The house, as it happened, came with two sizeable pear orchards, and that's when people started asking us: What are you going to do with all the pears?
Turns out, the answer was: gin. Fast forward a year and we're running a craft gin distillery in Upokongaro, on the banks of the Whanganui river.
We're passionate about sourcing as many botanicals as we can locally and try to stay close to home: we use pears, kawakawa, lemon, lime, figs, quince, basil, rose hip, stinging nettle and rosemary all of which are growing right behind our house. We love to connect a creative product to the environment it was created in.
Our signature Orchard gin emulates the fertile land of the Papaiti flats, the orchards that frame our home, and the native bush on the banks of the Whanganui river.
You can follow our journey on Instagram or Facebook. Make sure to sign up for our Newsletter here, to be first in line when we launch for retail customers and learn about all new developments as they happen.
In October 2022, Shepherdess talked to Nikki about our craft gin journey:
"From the very beginning, there was no one who said, “What? Why on earth? Are you crazy?” It was always like, “Yes, yes, we need this! When can we try? Can we help?” It was absolutely enthusiastic and positive. The community has been so welcoming – Whanganui and Partners [the area’s economic development agency] has helped us, working with the council has been amazing, our neighbours were like, “Hey, I have a grapefruit bush; I have these limes; I can do this; I can do that.” It was just so heart-warming. It’s like we’re creating something for this place, out of this place, with this place."
In March 2022 and January 2023, Nikki was interviewed on Heather E. Wilson's podcast 'Ginspired', the world's leading podcast on all things gin.First episode (March 2022):