Turning zero alcohol wine into gin

It’s not every day that a zero alcohol drink inspires a high alcohol one but the newest gin in New Zealand is out of the ordinary in nearly every way. Salvage yards were walked in search of heritage coloured glass to inspire the bottle design and a winery that is removing alcohol from its wines has produced the new Strange Nature Gin.

The gin was launched in New Zealand this week by Giesen Wines, which distils a grape based alcohol from its alcohol removed Sauvignon Blanc.

The gin contains only one botanical, juniper, for which classic traditional gins are best known.

“The Sauvignon Blanc spirit tastes so extraordinary we didn’t want to disguise it,” says Kyle Skene, distiller and Giesen Group general manager, who spent 18 months trialling and refining Strange Nature Gin, prior to its launch.

The gin was put to the taste test this week at Regional Wines & Spirits where a group of key staff smelt and tasted it. A bottle was later sent to yours truly, so I decided to put it to the taste test with two other keen gin devotees.

We road tested it in stem glasses with plenty of ice, no garnishes and good quality tonics that didn’t imprint their own personalities on the spirit.

The result?

Strange Nature may be made from Sauvignon Blanc but the integration of juniper and the double distillation make for an exceptionally clean tasting gin with refreshing purity of flavour and recognisable Sauvignon Blanc personality, nicely integrated with the distinctive juniper peppery notes.

This is the second Sauvignon Blanc based gin I have tried and by far the best. Strange Nature may be an apt name due to the raw material from which this new gin is made, but this fresh new gin more than lives up to being a refreshing and classic newcomer to the gin market. Its price tag compares favourably with other high quality classic gin styles on the market commanding similar prices.

  • Find out more about Strange Nature Gin RRP $89.99 and buy it here

Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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