The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New Zealand’s smallest distillery leads medal table at World Gin Awards 2024

Awildian Gins, made by The Coromandel Distilling Company in Thames, has brought home five gold medals at the World Gin Awards – more than any distillery, from any country in the world.

This year’s competition, which judges the best in the world of gin, saw more than 900 entries from 47 countries in 12 categories, including London Dry, Contemporary, Flavoured, Navy, Old Tom and the newest category, Colour-Changing Gin.

Paul Schneider and Daniela Suess

The only distillery to be awarded five gold medals across the global field was Thames-based Coromandel Distilling Company – co-owned by Paul Schneider and Daniela Suess – which is one of the smallest distilleries in the world.

Schneider says they are constantly working and imagining new ways to make gin come alive.

“I can’t think of another business that encapsulates all the pieces of our lives as much as the distillation of gin does,” he says.

“That love for the wilderness, the passion to explore and be curious, it’s all there.

“We called it Awildian because it means ‘growing wild’ or ‘refusing to be tamed’, and we’ve just never liked tame.”

The distillery only opened its doors in 2019 and Schneider and Suess have since collected a total of 36 awards, started exporting to Europe and opened a tasting room in Thames.

Among their most popular drops have been the colour-changing ‘Blue Edition’ of their Coromandel Dry gin, and the Mānuka Old Tom gin, while seasonal offerings in the past have included liqueurs, an apple and quince ‘Eau de Vie’, and several single citrus varieties such as tangelo gin.

Botanicals are, where possible, foraged locally, including from Suess and Schneider’s own coastal distiller’s garden.

The pair’s business model is intentionally micro, with a focus on environmental responsibility (they donate 1% of their revenue to local conservation groups) and on the deliberate, long, labour of love that is contributing to the perfect drop.

2024 World Gin Awards for Awildian.

Awildian, Coromandel Dry Gin Blue Edition, 47% Colour-Changing Gin Country Winner Gold
Awildian, Coromandel Dry Gin, 47% Classic Gin Country Winner Gold
Awildian, Coromandel Manuka Gin, 48% Matured Gin Country Winner Gold
Awildian, Coromandel Spiced Gin, 47%. London Dry Gin Country Winner Gold
Awildian, Damson Gin, 32% Flavoured Gin Country Winner Gold

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