The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) recently
purchased a large order of two of the New Zealand Whisky
Company's whiskies. Photo supplied
The successful Canadian launch of Dunedin-distilled
whisky may provide the income needed to resume distilling in
The New Zealand Whisky Company has started looking for
suitable distillery sites and was optimistic international
sales would spur development.
Chief executive Greg Ramsay recently returned to his home in
Tasmania after spending two weeks launching the New Zealand
Whisky Company range in Ontario.
The trip had been a great success, with the Liquor Control
Board of Ontario (LCBO) ordering a large consignment of two
New Zealand whiskies, the 18-year-old South Island Single
Malt and the Dunedin DoubleWood, he said.
If the LCBO put in a second order it would make distilling in
Dunedin viable again, Mr Ramsay said. The company had
examined ''several'' sites in Dunedin.
Mr Ramsay wanted to set up the distillery in one of Dunedin's
''nice old buildings''. All that was required was space for
equipment and storage and a good loading area.
One potential site was the former social welfare office on
The distillery could be a tourist attraction, showing off the
history of New Zealand whisky and the distilling process, he
Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said any
attraction was welcome as it could convince people to stay
longer and do more in the city.
''Whisky is a great fit for Dunedin.''
Mr Saxton said the Wilson's Whisky distillery at Willowbank
was a popular attraction for tourists before it closed.
The LCBO is one of the world's largest single purchasers of
beverage alcohol products.
''We can't wait for Canada's verdict on these delicious
drams,'' Mr Ramsay said.
''In fact, the fate of a mothballed New Zealand industry,
that was once so well-nurtured in Canadian care, could once
again sit with the people of Ontario.''
Canadian company Seagrams - once the largest distiller of
alcoholic beverages in the world - used to own the Willowbank
distillery where the DoubleWood was made.
In the late 1990s, Seagrams sold the distillery to Australian
brewer Fosters, which closed it. The remaining stock of 443
barrels, or 75,000 litres of whisky, was left to mature. The
whisky was bought by the New Zealand Whisky Company two years