Production is now underway at Cornwall’s newest visitor attraction and first ‘plough to bottle’ gin and vodka distillery, Colwith Farm Distillery, with tours available from this month.
Whereas most craft distilleries buy in the base spirit, Colwith is the first gin and vodka distillery in Cornwall – and one of only a handful in the UK – to bring the whole process under one roof. Located at Lanlivery near Fowey, the new state-of-the-art facility includes the main production area, where King Edward potatoes grown on the family farm are mashed, fermented and distilled, and a bar so visitors can sample the spirits.
Construction began on the distillery in 2017, thanks to a SELAG (South and East Cornwall Local Action Group) grant. First off the production line has been Fowey River Gin, created by blending a Colwith vodka base with triple distilled cider from nearby Haye Farm before further distillation with botanicals. When fully operational, the distillery will also produce homegrown Stafford’s Gin and Aval Dor Vodka from scratch.
Aval Dor, simply Cornish for potato, was fifth generation farmer Steve Dustow’s first foray into diversifying the family business, winning a ‘Taste of the West’ award in 2016. Stafford’s Gin takes the vodka as its base spirit with added botanicals foraged on the farm.
“When we first started producing our gin and vodka we were sending the ingredients away to Cambridgeshire to be distilled. My vision was to be able to transform our own crops into premium spirits on a single site right here. It’s an incredible feeling to see that now come to fruition,” Steve told Essential Journeys.
On arrival, visitors are greeted by a series of story boards, telling the history of the family and the farm. Provenance is very important to the whole experience. Tours of the new distillery are bookable on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and cost from £15 per adult. Bespoke tours and events are available on request. For more information visit www.colwithfarmdistillery.co.uk
Stay at the Talland Bay Hotel, a coastal retreat boasting 80-plus gins behind the bar. Their new Cornish Gin Odyssey package costs from £340 per person (July-September) including two nights in a classic room, breakfast each day, three-course dinner in the hotel’s 2AA Rosette fine-dining Terrace restaurant both nights, a complimentary gin and tonic on the first night featuring the ‘gin of the day’ and a tour and tasting at Colwith Farm Distillery.
Main image | Steve Dustow of Colwith Farm Distillery