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Speyburn Single Malt Whisky Unveils Brand Refresh

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Cardrona Distillery

Cardrona Distillery is nestled in the beautiful Cardrona Valley, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The very best equipment has been sourced from the four corners of the earth, to make great hand-crafted Single Malt Whisky, Gin, Vodka and limited edition Liqueurs. 

Cardrona is committed to quality. From the barley varietal, the grind of the mill and the size of the mash tun to the temperature of the alpine water, every step of the process is integral to forming the character of the spirit and has been meticulously thought out. The Distillery has designed its craft process around the deep single malt traditions, starting from scratch with malted barley to create a genuine artisan premium spirit, a rarity in the spirits industry.

Every aspect of Cardrona’s products is of the highest quality, from the pure Cardrona Valley alpine water, the rich malted barley and the locally foraged ingredients to the hand-picked oak casks from Spain, America and Central Otago, New Zealand.

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Stills named: Roaring Meg & Gentle Annie

Spirit Still Capacity 2,000L

Whisky, Gin, liqueur and Vodka Distillery

600 litre copper gin still.named Pretty Betty

7.5m Jacob Carl continuous column still and a 7.5m Jacob Carl finishing still for Vodka production

80,000 people visit the working distillery every year

Desiree Reid-Whitaker

Desiree Reid

Founder and Managing Director

In early 2011, craftswoman, Desiree Reid decided to pursue her dream of making a New Zealand single malt whisky that would stand tall on the international stage. She began researching distillation and the crafting of great spirits. The exquisite range of award winning whiskies, spirits and liqueurs produced at the Cardrona Distillery is the result of many years of study, planning and research.

Desiree Reid travelled widely for two and a half years, learning from many of the world’s masters, including the late Dave Pickerell, former head of Maker’s Mark. Her studies took her back to Scotland and through the United States many times, to garner the technical know-how and marketing insight to build Cardrona Distillery.

In May 2013, Desiree Reid sold her farming business to move to Wanaka, ultimately finding the distillery site at Cardrona. On 23 October 2015, the spirit flowed for the first time and on 5 November, the first cask was laid.

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Sustainability at Cardrona Distillery

Cardrona Distillery believes in preserving and bettering our environment for future generations.  Our distillery is designed to tread softly in our Outstanding Natural Landscape.

We have a World Class Building design by New Zealand Fellow of the Institute of Architecture, Sarah Scott.
It is thermally insulated with natural earth-wool insulation.

It has been designed to recycle distillery heat to warm the visitor buildings and is designed with sensitivity to the area's Outstanding Natural Landscape.

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Water Stewardship

More than 95% of the water Cardrona uses is “borrowed” from our aquifer. We return the water in pristine condition. Cardrona Distillery utilises its own bore water supply to run the still condensers. Litres of water per minute required to condense vapour to liquid distillate is substantial and fluctuates with changing groundwater temperature throughout the year.

The water used to cool the hot wort (sugar-rich barley water) drawn from the Mash tun picks up heat energy in the process. This is not wasted. The warmer water exiting the heat exchanger is directed back to the Hot Liquor Tanks to become second and third waters, terms given to the successive washing of the malt with hot water to extract sugar. Cooling of wort is important as it must arrive at the fermentation vessel at a temperature suitable for fermentation.

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Energy Reduction

On reaching a set temperature, the warmer water exiting shell and tube condensers is directed to an underfloor heating system in the Cellar Door visitor centre & restaurant and if ever needed, the Barn, our barrel room. It is then sent down the hill to a cooling tank where it cools naturally before returning to the Cardrona River. A substantial draw but one that is borrowed and carefully managed.

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By-products : The carbon footprint of reusing the spent grain is amongst the lowest in the world, it is fed to the neighbouring sheep, deer and cattle on the historic Cardrona Valley Farm Station.

All spent grain (draff) is delivered directly to feed the deer of Cardrona Valley Farms. The draff truck never touches a sealed road. Spent grain is delivered from the mash tun to a waiting truck; parked on a pad outside the Tun room walls, via auger. That fibre rich, often warm, food source is seasonally supplemented by the ‘Pot ale’ from Roaring Meg.

Pot Ale or what is left behind after the first copper pot distillation is effectively a fermented barley liquid that has been stripped of alcohol. When not being fed to the locals; pot ale can be spread like a fertiliser and provide essential nutrients to aid pasture growth.

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Distillery Location

Nestled in the breathtaking Cardrona Valley of New Zealand, the scenic beauty surrounding Cardrona Distillery is nothing short of captivating. With its lush green landscape, rolling hills, and crystal-clear waters, the setting offers a picturesque backdrop for the creation of exquisite spirits. The tranquil and serene atmosphere of this idyllic location adds to the allure of Cardrona, making it a truly enchanting destination for both whisky enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Distillery Location

Cardrona Distillery
2125 Cardrona Valley Road
New Zealand

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