Artisan spirit producer Scapegrace Distilling has announced plans to develop New Zealand’s largest-ever distillery project in the Central Otago region.
On completion, the new $25 million distillery is expected to be the largest in New Zealand, and is intended to produce the entire existing Scapegrace portfolio of super-premium gin and vodka alongside its soon-to-be-released single malt whisky.
The new build is to be located on the edge of Lake Dunston, with Scapegrace claiming that the location provides the perfect climate and water quality for producer spirits. The 36-hectare property is at 81 Bendigo Downs Drive, with characteristically fabulous views over both Lake Dunstan and Mt Pisa.
“The halfway point between equator and south pole runs directly through our distillery site, giving us extremes in hot and cold temperatures – an optimum environment for ageing whisky,” said managing director, Daniel McLaughlin. “Naturally, the pristine water quality is also ideal for distilling gin & vodka, pulling from glacial run-off from the Southern Alps. Over the past 5 years we’ve been quietly putting down whisky at our old distillery site and we’ll soon be launching Scapegrace Single Malt Whisky.”
Construction has started on the first building containing the new Scapegrace head office, bottling hall, warehouse, and the first barrel room which is due to open in August 2022. “Two simple longhouses slip past each other, abutted by lichen and Kanuka, recessive but unapologetic in this enormous landscape,” said Nat Cheshire who designed the distillery alongside Ascinda Stark and Emily Doll of Cheshire Architects. “Inside, darkness, distillation, delight and, above all, discovery.”
The Otago Daily Times reports that the distillery has received support from both the Cromwell Community Board and Central Otago District Council, with Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan calling the development positive news.
Scapegrace Distillery was initially known as the Rogue Society, but rebranded after experiencing copyright issues in Europe. The brand is now distributed in 35 countries and has picked up international accolades, including the world’s best London dry gin at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London 2018.
The new distillery is planned to open to the public in November 2023.