The Sandymount Story Has a New Chapter

April 26, 2022
Sandymount Distillery chapter two

With one bestseller already on the shelves, Sandymount Distillery isn’t showing any signs of writer’s block. 

Sandymount Distillery is a small batch artisanal distillery situated on a five hectare rural property overlooking Hooper's Inlet on the eastern side of Otago Peninsula in Dunedin. 

Distiller Richard Wilson began distilling four years ago, a hobby that quickly became an obsession, until he made the call to concentrate on distilling his unique products full-time. 

He grew up on the Otago Peninsula, making it a natural choice for his distillery’s location, and the memories and scents of his youth are integral to his recipe development and ingredient choices.  

There are two hectares of native bush and two of pine forest. All the native botanicals are sourced from these forests and the water is drawn from a spring that bubbles to the surface just above the distillery building.  

Alongside the distillery’s flagship Lovers Leap Dry Gin and the Tī Kōuka Forest and Woodcutters Barrel Aged gins, Wilson has devised the Sandymount Chapter series which uses the concept of synaesthesia (the stimulation of senses to create a pathway to memory) to evoke the scents and moods of the Otago Peninsula, and his own memories of growing up in the area.  

Richard Wilson

Chapter One was inspired by the warmth reflected off the sand dunes approaching Penguin Beach, the smell of bright yellow lupins in summer and the piercing call of the Hoiho from the beachgrass. 

Chapter Two is being released next month, in time for the distillery’s first birthday on Saturday 14 May. 

4km south west of Chapter One, on the back hills of the farm where Wilson grew up, there is a large pond, known as the crater, surrounded by dense bush and overlooking the Pyramids at Victory Beach. 

As a teenager, he rambled over these hills hunting rabbits and possums and secret places, and riding dirt bikes with his friends. 

He would stop at the crater and sit under the tumbling vines of wild orange passionfruit, an afternoon snack provided by the land to eat while resting and watching the view of Okia flats. 

The taste of passionfruit and smell of the vines, damp grass, and decomposing leaves under the shade of the canopy of the bush. A memory of carefree and adventurous teenage years. 

The nose holds herbaceous and grassy tones. On the palate, it has very distinct fruit notes of passionfruit and berries, trailing off to a sweet earthiness. 

Focussed on sustainable production, Wilson will be developing the Sandymount property over the next 12 months, starting with clearing old pine trees to invite the birdlife back to the hillsides they once populated, and replenishing the soil to give his 1000 new native trees and bushes the best possible start. 

For now, he is concentrating on planting the six species - tarata, mānuka, kawakawa, horopito, tī kōuka and harakeke - that he uses in the Tī Kōuka Forest Gin.  

A limited release of Sandymount Chapter Two will be available for shipping from Saturday 14 May - preorder yours now.

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