|By Whisky Live Staff||26-04-2019|
About the brand
Duke is an exotically fragrant gin - traditional and tropical botanicals are gradually infused during distillation to produce a balance between sweet, fresh hints of rose, ginger and honey, and grounded, earthy tones of juniper berries and macadamia. Farm-to-bottle & organic.
On the slopes of Summerfields estate, nestled between stretches of lush subtropical vegetation, lies the bountiful litchi orchard. Hot, humid summers with thunderous rainstorms create the ideal climate needed to produce the sweet floral-like flavours characteristic to the litchi fruit.
Duke Gin was established in 2017 in an attempt to save the sunny litchi orchards of Summerfields estate. A tricky and risky fruit to export, the economic viability of litchi farming was on a rapid decline, and the decision to replace them with macadamia trees had all but been made.
After a gin course in Johannesburg, and later training at iStill in Amsterdam, Andre was hooked on mastering the distilling process and entered a whole new world of copper stills, litchi fermentation and juniper berries.
Today Andre and Ilse host guests in their beautifully styled gin foundry where they share, with much humour, entertaining stories about the history of the farm, the many farming activities (including macadamia, rose and organic vegetable farming), and most importantly, they share about the gin making process.
Duke’s farm-to-bottle story (fully organic ingredients) and exotically fragrant flare that’s been winning hearts, and most guests who taste Duke gin, leave the estate with a bottle in hand.
All the litchis are now harvested, fermented and used in the gin making process. DUKE Gin, the only gin that makes their own alcohol from litchis.
Marketing & Brand Manager of DUKE Gin Cecilia Steenberg was born and bred Lowvelder living in Hazyview. Over 16y experience in International Brand Marketing of which 11 years was spent focusing on FMCG – Liquor & Tobacco and the other 5 International Sport Sponsorship Management. Joined Summerfields Distilling Co. & Duke Gin in October 2018.