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STUNNING STORY

Two outsiders tackle the spirits world

Native New Zealand divider
Welcome swallow white

STUNNING STORY

Native New Zealand divider
Welcome swallow white

How do you build New Zealand’s most awarded distillery in just 2 years time? We never knew the rules so we didn’t know we were breaking them. Entirely self-taught in the art of distillation, Ben & Sarah Bonoma do not come from beverage backgrounds.

Ben, an American, and Sarah, a Brit, moved to New Zealand after falling in love over a long distance relationship. Many kilometers later, they found themselves in simply the most stunning place on the planet: Golden Bay, New Zealand.

After in trading in America and the UK for New Zealand, it was time to trade in corporate careers and keyboards for a still and a plan: bring the most stunning place on the planet to the world by creating an attention grabbing range of spirits and break all of the rules in the process.

Ben and Sarah Bonoma the owners
Distilling gin

STUNNING BEGINNINGS

Golden Bay, New Zealand.

Native New Zealand divider
Welcome swallow white

We start from the most stunning place on the planet, Golden Bay New Zealand.  From our natural landscapes with marbled mountains to golden sandy beaches to our beautiful water, everything is a little bit better in Golden Bay.  Where the aquas are more aqua and blues are more blue, even our light gives us a brighter beginning.

The Dancing Sands Spring at Te Waikaroropupu Springs is the clearest spring the world with under water visibility of up-to 81 metres.  It pumps water at 14,000 litres per second at a crisp 11 degrees C.  The purity of the spring serves as inspiration for everything we do.

We use the name Dancing Sands to remind ourselves of our obligation to never take for granted the gifts that nature has bestowed upon us.

STUNNING DISTILLERY

Blending the contemporary with the traditional

Native New Zealand divider
Welcome swallow white

Have you met our still, JC? She turns water into wine (gin) and is our workhorse. JC was born in 1986 in Germany, fathered by Jacob Carl the iconic still father. German stills are steeped in centuries of tradition and excellence and we use the vapour distillation method to deliver quality, balance, and complexity.

We work in 150 litre batches, which gives us maximum control over quality. Using taste, temperature, and touch with every drop we make, no part of our craft is automated.

DISTILLATION 101

Native New Zealand divider
fermentation

FERMENTATION

All spirits start their journey as a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) liquid. Ours is made by milling grain, adding yeast which consumes naturally occurring sugars that creates alcohol and CO2 as by products.

evaporation and distillation

EVAPORATION

Our copper still is filled with alcohol and slowly heated. The key to distillation is that alcohol boils 78.4 oC, whereas water needs to reach 100 oC. The alcohol evaporates and moves up the still separating itself from the water.

condensation

CONDENSATION

The alcohol vapour reaches the condenser and turns back into a liquid – a more concentrated alcohol with a new flavour profile imparted from the botanicals.

infusion and barreling

INFUSION & BARREL AGEING

Post distillation, an additional infusion can be added (e.g. saffron is infused to create our Saffron gin) or the gin can be rested in wooden barrels (e.g. our Barrel Aged Gin).

Bottling gin

BOTTLING

Spirits are blended with water to achieve its final alcohol strength, ours ranging from 37.5% to 58% ABV. It is then bottled, labelled, and sealed by hand before being shipped out of the distillery.

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