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New Zealand's Coromandel Distilling Co Has Taken Out Five Gold Medals at the 2024 World Gin Awards

The microdistillery took home the gold medal in all five categories that its award-winning gin was entered in.
By Emma Clark-Dow
February 12, 2024
By Emma Clark-Dow
February 12, 2024

A New Zealand microdistillery has taken home five gold medals at the 2024 World Gin Awards, the most medals won by any distillery in any country, and a feat that has never been achieved by a distillery in Aotearoa ever before. This gin is Awildian, made by The Coromandel Distilling Company, which is based in the small town of Thames.

More than 900 gin makers entered their drops across the accolades' 12 categories, with Awilidian's gins entered in five of the twelve: classic, London dry, colour-changing, flavoured and matured gin. Despite being one of the smallest distilleries in the competition and the world, it was awarded the gold medal for New Zealand gins in every category that it entered.

Run by Thames locals Paul Schneider and Daniela Suess, The Coromandel Distillery Company opened in 2019, and has picked up 36 awards in just five years of operation. The pair say that their success is down to their obsession with the art of gin distilling; "we are constantly working and imagining new ways to make gin come alive," Suess notes.

The pair's distillery is purposely small, due to their dedication to protecting the environment, with one percent of the money made from their gin sales donated to conservation groups.

Gin distilling came into Schneider and Suess' life through a happy accident, combining their love of nature with creation. This love was initially triggered through Suess' beekeeping hobby, when she began making mead — and from there, it was only a hop, skip and a jump towards making award-winning gin.

"I still can't think of another business that encapsulates all the pieces of our lives as much as the distillation of gin does. 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," explains Suess.

Some of Awildian's most popular gins are the Mānuka Old Tom gin, the colour-changing Blue Edition and speciality sips produced with whatever was growing best that season, like tangelo gin, plus an apple and quince brandy.

The Coromandel Distilling Company, which produces Awildian Gin, can be found at The Depot, 715 Pollen Street, Thames. The distillery's cellar door is open from 11–3pm Tuesday–Friday and 10–2pm Saturday–Sunday.

Published on February 12, 2024 by Emma Clark-Dow
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