One of the biggest beverage companies in the world has snapped up Inverroche Distillery.
The France based Pernod Ricard recently acquired Italian gin, Malfy and has now added Inverroche to its portfolio of gins, joining it's The Gin Hub.
The Cape Town based gin, which is well-known for being one of the first to experiment with Cape Fynbos varietals.
Founded by Lorna Scott, the gin has become one of the most popular handcrafted gins in the country and has made inroads in many parts of the world.
In 2011 they launched a few bottles of three handcrafted gins – Classic, infused with limestone fynbos; Verdant, infused with mountainous fynbos, and Amber, infused with coastal fynbos. Each of these is intended to pay homage to the rich terrain from which the botanicals are handpicked.
Lorna Scott was already one step ahead of the competition and was the first person to infuse gin with fynbos, creating a new category in the local and international liquor industry.
“I am thrilled to partner with Pernod Ricard,” said Scott. “The group’s vast distribution network will enable Inverroche Gins to reach new consumers. We will be taking a luxury African brand to a large audience and sharing the story of our common heritage.”
Paul-Robert Bouhier, managing director of Pernod Ricard Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Inverroche Gins nicely complement our portfolio. We are excited to further contribute to their success in South Africa and to support their development throughout sub-Saharan Africa.”
What made Inverroche so popular, according to Jan De Vynck, the brand's botanist, is their distillation method using fynbos.
“Fynbos botanicals work well in gin distillation because it offers many unique and complex aromas and flavours found nowhere else. During distillation, the oils contained in these botanicals form a special molecular bond with the alcohol vapour rendering the liquid truly Cape, distinctly ours”.
Why not try a chocolate gin. Picture from Instagram
When Scott launched Inverroche Gin in Still Bay together with her son Rohan and daughter Lauren, Scott had never worked at a distillery before, let alone had any experience in the liquor industry. But this only ignited her curiosity to learn the craft.
In a previous interview she told Independent Media that she believes that if you have the passion for something, you can achieve it.
“I believe that if you have a passion for something which in my case is telling a story by making gin, then you can achieve anything if you put your mind and hard work to it. And you can have a career change in your mid-50s!"
But she also has a very real passion for sustainability which has led to a successful eco-friendly business where 70% of the staff is women employed from the local community and the entire gin-making process, from distillation to bottle, is symbiotic with the environment.
“From the start it was never just about the gin. I wanted to create a product that would tell a story and the fynbos was the inspiration,” she says.
Scott spent a lot of time understanding fynbos and over the years narrowed the selection down to just over 35 species.
“We soon realised that one gin was not going to be enough to showcase the enormous diversity and richness of this unique biomes found nowhere else in the world but here. And so the three gins were born each with their own distinctive taste and colour profile.”
Scott will remain as chief operating officer and maintain a shareholding in the business.