Foley Family Wines Offers New Zealand Gin, Hires Master Distiller

Foley Family Wines is launching Lighthouse Gin (SRP: $49.99) in the U.S., an 80-proof, citrus-forward, New Zealand gin produced by Rachel Hall, the country's first female Head Distiller, and has appointed Joseph O’Sullivan as the Master Distiller of Minden Mill Distilling in Nevada.

FFW purchased Lighthouse Gin in 2014 and is launching it in the US as a priority brand in its expanding spirits portfolio.

Lighthouse Gin enters the market as super-premium offerings fuel Gin category growth with $30+ Gin Brands leading as the fastest growing segment at +11% (750ml).1

Named for the famous Cape Palliser Lighthouse, Lighthouse Gin's new brand identity includes an innovative elegant bottle with painted glass and bold shoulder detail, which represents the Fresnel lens – a layered prism that concentrates light into the beacon in a lighthouse visible from great distances.

New Master Distiller

In another development, FFW named Joseph O’Sullivan the Master Distiller for Minden Mill Distilling, Minden, Nev.,

Previously Master Distiller for Clear Creek Distillery and Hood River Distillers, O’Sullivan started his career in 2005 as the craft spirits industry emerged. He quickly developed a passion for whole fruit fermentation and the spirit that would later be known as American Single Malt. Under O’Sullivan’s leadership, Minden Mill Distilling will produce its own new brands of Bourbon, Rye, American Single Malt, and White Spirits from locally sourced, sustainable grains. These spirits distilled at the site will be available through national wholesale markets and direct-to-consumer channels, including the tasting room.

“I've been working in distilleries for nearly two decades, and I'm looking forward to applying my spirits knowledge and experience to Minden Mill,” O'Sullivan commented. "With custom-built production equipment, access to local grains and pure Sierra Nevada water, and a talented team, we will produce some remarkable Nevada spirits.”

The Minden Mill guest experience center will be open to the public for tours and tastings of spirits, wine, and craft cocktails. A grand opening celebration will take place on Sept. 9.

“Spirits are increasingly important to our customers, and these are important steps in our strategic plan to launch a full range of global high-end spirits to complement our growing portfolio of luxury wines,” said Shawn Schiffer, FFW President. “New Zealand and Nevada are both special places where Bill Foley has established a presence and a reputation for quality, and we plan to continue the expansion.”

The total spirits category is growing by 6%, driven by domestic and premium segments. FFW is one of the top ten super premium plus suppliers in the wine industry, growing more than three times faster than the total segment.

Subscribe to Kane's Beverage News Daily

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.