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Wymondham gin distillery wins international award

PUBLISHED: 08:21 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:21 15 August 2018

Lindi Hancke and her husband Shaun check their gin at their gin distillery in Wymondham, making Vryheid (which means Freedom in Afrikaans) dry gin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lindi Hancke and her husband Shaun check their gin at their gin distillery in Wymondham, making Vryheid (which means Freedom in Afrikaans) dry gin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A Norfolk distillery has won an international award just six months after launching its very first gin.

Shaun and Lindi Hancke. Picture: Square Pepper PhotographyShaun and Lindi Hancke. Picture: Square Pepper Photography

OakVilla distillery, based in Wymondham, may be new to the gin world but it is already making its presence felt after scooping a bronze award for its Vryheid gin in the London Dry Gin category at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) 2018.

Opened in 2016 by Lindi and Shaun Hancke, who moved to the UK from South Africa in 2007, OakVilla distillery was born from the couple’s love of gin and desire to launch their own business.

Now, just six months after making their first gin, Vryheid, available to the public the couple have won an internationally-recognised award which is considered to be one of the highest honours in the industry.

Taking its name for the Afriakaan’s word for freedom, Vryheid is described as a full bodied gin which uses poppy and elderflower from Norfolk as well as sweet lemon rind, pink pepper, black pepper, oak and orange blossom honey.

Lindi Hancke and her husband Shaun check their gin at their gin distillery in Wymondham, making Vryheid (which means Freedom in Afrikaans) dry gin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLindi Hancke and her husband Shaun check their gin at their gin distillery in Wymondham, making Vryheid (which means Freedom in Afrikaans) dry gin. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Explaining that the recipe for Vryheid took two years to develop, Mrs Hancke said winning the award felt wonderful: “I am really excited it was a wonderful feeling but it I could not believe it. It feels like a big achievement and really encouraging to win something like this in just six months.”

Together the couple said: “The award means a huge amount to us, as this brings international recognition to the product while also placing a spotlight on the whole food and drink industry within the county.

“We hope that by winning the award it will have a strong impact on sales and help us raise the profile of our products to new audiences.”

Commenting on how she and her husband had found launching the new business Mrs Hancke said: “The first six months have been up and down it’s an emotional roller coaster setting up your own business.

“I have never had a business of my own before and I’m not sleeping a lot but I’m enjoying it. We know we are building something for the future and we’re hoping it will mean something for Wymondham too.”

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