Emma Watson launches gin using upcycled grape skins
Gin brand Renais, founded by English actor Emma Watson and her brother Alex Watson, is to launch in the UK this month.
The gin is crafted from grape skins salvaged from their family vineyard Domaine Watson in Chablis, Burgundy, with the addition of pressed Grand Cru grapes, and a selection of natural botanicals.
The brand's name is derived from the word ‘Renaissance' in French and is a nod to the family's use of the grape skins being given a second life in Renais' gin.
Alex, who has worked in the drinks industry for over a decade, said that he and Emma wanted "to capture the essence of a specific terroir, the uniqueness of Chablis, by drawing on the traditions, techniques and ingredients from the land, and embodying those characteristics in a gin."
Emma said that Renais "is a family project". The Watson siblings took frequent childhood trips to their family's vineyard which their father, Chris Watson, has operated for more than 30 years.
Whilst working as a barrister in Paris, Chris planted the Domaine Watson vineyards in the early 1990s. A decade later, in 2002 Domaine Watson won a Medaille d'Argent for second best independent grower of Chablis. Shortly after, Chris was appointed as one of the ‘piliers' of Chablis and the region's ambassador to the UK. Alex said: "Renais is our family's love letter to Chablis, taking inspiration from the heritage of the region but combining it with an innovative and forward-thinking, yet sustainable approach to spirit making."
Emma added: "Not only does the Chablis region evoke very special memories of growing up, I've loved having the opportunity to create something with my brother Alex. I'm particularly proud of upcycling grapes from vineyards (including my dad's) to reduce waste and create something new, being one of the only gins on the market using mushroom packaging, and our carbon neutral product status."
Renais (40% ABV) will launch an exclusive special release in May with only 3,000 to 4,000 bottles available. The subsequent batch will then be released in June and is available directly from www.renais.co.uk.
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