What did you do before creating your gin?
I, Enzo, am a winemaker and after University I immediately started to work at my family’s organic winery in the heart of Tuscany - Montepulciano. This is where I learned the importance of Tuscan heritage combined with organic farming and accurate selection of raw materials. In years to follow, always together with my family, I started to produce wine ageing amphorae from Cocciopesto - and ancient material used by Romans, that are now found in the best wineries, distilleries and breweries around the world. Fabio, my friend from University, and the other creator behind Ginepraio, followed the path of Communications and Politics during his studies and has grown up on the Adriatic sea with his family’s business of ships and navigation, aiming high for us to always reach new horizons.
What made you decide to create your gin, and what’s the inspiration behind your gin?
I am born and raised in Tuscany, with its unique landscape and terroir, history and traditions. And it is from here that the world’s best juniper comes from. Creating something that enhances this heritage and shows the real potential of the unique land, seemed like a must do to leave something for the next generations to be proud of.
Can you tell us about the botanicals in Ginepraio?
Our gins are produced with an aim to show the best of the juniper terroir. We are indeed the first ones to introduce this winemaking approach in the world of spirits and we are using 3 different types of juniper. Given the importance juniper has in the production, while developing our recipe, we compared the results of berries from three different areas of Tuscany. This was necessary since the juniper, like many other plants, retains different organoleptic properties depending on the territory in which it grows. The junipers you can find in our gins are Valtiberina Juniper, the one considered to be the finest and most elegant in the world thanks to its strong aroma and balsamic taste; chianti Juniper - balsamic and resinous, that does not have a strong scent but allows us to create an intense and persistent flavour; Riviera Juniper - grows on volcanic soil in Maremma and has very savoury and mineral berries, for a rather unexpected taste.
In addition to the classical Coriander, Angelica, Lemon and Orange, we have selected two other plants from our region - Rosa Canina, a climbing, wild rose species, and Helychrisium, a wild plant of yellow flowers growing on the Tyrrhenian coast. All these essences enrich the powerful flavour given by the liquor’s main character: the juniper.
Can you tell us more about the distillation process?
Our Organic Tuscan Dry gin is a classic London Dry Gin, with all the ingredients put inside the alembic’s vapour basket, through which alcohol passes during the distillation process, extracting from botanicals the oils and the essences needed to give Ginepraio its distinctive character.
Our Amphora Navy Strength, following the distillation is matured for 6 months in Cocciopesto Amphora, that helps to reach a better aromatic complexity and smooth balance between the botanicals, enhancing the organoleptic profile of the gin, resulting in complex tasteful experience.
What have been the biggest challenges and achievements so far?
Ginepraio, as Italian vocabulary shows, has 2 meanings - 1, a cluster of juniper bushes and 2, to get oneself into a trouble - and what a lot of trouble we have made for ourselves! We started with what seemed a simple idea at the time but in the end we have created the first Italian Navy Strength Gin and the first gin in the world matured in amphora, as well as created our own Ginepraio Opus 5L amphora for mixology (for more intense and more balanced cocktails) and now we find ourselves to be the only Italian Gin in Dukes London.
How would you describe Ginepraio in 3 words?
Honest, strong, deep.
What’s your favourite way to drink your gins?
Ginepraio Amphora Navy Strength in a Negroni and Ginepraio in a Gin & Tonic with a slice of grapefruit for extra freshness.
Which gins would you always have on your gin shelf?
Sipsmith VJOP as I find it to be the best Navy Strength and Elephant Gin as I find it beautifully balanced and I like the spiciness of it.
What’s next for you and Ginepraio - any exciting plans?
We are looking forward to the release of our third gin made with a Mediterranean recipe, and our own distillery where our botanicals can grow in their natural environment overlooking Tyrrhenian sea.
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