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Cucumber and watermelon tonic among award winners for Norfolk gin firm

PUBLISHED: 11:27 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:30 21 August 2020

Husband and wife duo Lindi and Shaun Hancke who own OakVilla. Picture: OakVilla

Husband and wife duo Lindi and Shaun Hancke who own OakVilla. Picture: OakVilla

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A Norfolk gin firm is celebrating success once after winning awards from the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Juniper berries and oak at Lindi and Shaun Hancke's gin distillery in Wymondham, making Vryheid (which means Freedom in Afrikaans) dry gin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJuniper berries and oak at Lindi and Shaun Hancke's gin distillery in Wymondham, making Vryheid (which means Freedom in Afrikaans) dry gin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

OakVilla Distillery, based in Wymondham, won silver in the contemporary category, bronze in the London Dry category and another bronze in the Gin and Tonic category where the gin was paired with the Double Dutch Cucumber and Watermelon tonic.

Then, on August 7 the IWSC judges announced the distillery had won another bronze medal with one of the distillery’s best-selling gins Heart of Oak in the Wood Finished/Rested category.

This is the third year in a row the company, owned by husband and wife duo Lindi and Shaun Hancke, has been recognised.

Mr Hancke said: “The IWSC is known as an exceptionally prestigious award worldwide and we are extremely pleased with Vryheid and now the performance of Heart of Oak gin in the competition.

“Heart of Oak gin offers tribute to the brave from the past and present, acknowledging the sacrifices made to achieve and retain freedom in its many forms, with special regard towards Norfolk’s Lord Nelson and all generations of the naval service’s ‘hearts of oak’.

“The artwork on the decanter was done by local Dr Kate Grant who expressed the essence of the gin by illustrating Kett’s Oak in Wymondham on the decanter.”

The IWSC receives entries from over 90 countries worldwide with thousands of samples tested by some of the industry’s biggest names.

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The competition has tight technical controls that are to the highest quality standards to ensure consistent standards year after year.

The judges tasting notes for Heart of Oak Gin included: “Banana cake softness with creamy vanilla topping, smooth wood spice and a hot finish.”

Ms Hancke added: “The IWSC is the Oscars of the wine and spirit industry and we are over the moon to be bringing these fantastic awards home to Wymondham.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, the distillery was offering home deliveries and also made hand sanitiser for frontline NHS workers.


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