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30 November, 2020 - 11:07 By Tony Quested

Norfolk distillery toasts exports to Canada and Italy

Wild Knight Distillery in Norfolk has won maiden export orders with Canada and Italy and plan to build on overseas trade in 2021. 

Husband and wife team Matt and Steph Brown plan further ranges in the spirits produced locally for home and overseas markets.

Matt Brown says: “We’ve made great strides since the launch of Wild Knight® English Vodka in 2016. When we launched we were having the vodka made for us by a national distiller. Fast forward to the unprecedented year of 2020 and we have moved on to be distilling our own spirits.”

These include World Vodka Awards winner Wild Knight English Vodka, plus International Wine and Spirits Competition winners Boadicea® English Gin, Nelson’s Gold® Caramelised Vodka and Wild Knight® Espresso Martini.

Steph adds: “2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year. From formulating new expressions of gin in a highly competitive market place to developing new flavours of vodka to keep our portfolio fresh and desirable, it has been a constant challenge.

“Thankfully our distiller has a great palate, which is validated by the many awards we’ve gained over the last couple of years. And whilst he is a relative newcomer to the art of spirit distillation, he is proud of his drinks-making heritage, having been creating his own wine since the tender age of 13!”

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Wild Knight team worked closely with a mixologist to fashion an innovative range of ‘Lockdown Cocktails’, designed exclusively for the stay-at-home market. These proved extremely popular. 

The company has also been working with a highly skilled mechanical engineer to design and produce a 21-plate rectification column, with the aim of simplifying the production of the vodka. They are also about to take delivery of an additional two new copper pot stills which are being hand-made in Portugal.

“It’s important for us to take delivery of the new stills before the end of the year, ahead of new Brexit legislation coming into play, as we’re unsure how this will affect our business,” explains Matt Brown.

Steph, who handles the company’s design and marketing, is especially proud of the recent mention of their vodka brand in Forbes magazine. The article, written by Veronika Karlova, one of the world’s leading experts in the vodka industry, gave particular mention to Wild Knight English Vodka, and how it’s a leading light in Norfolk barley vodka distillation.

The Boadicea Gin has also been favoured this year, with the first export contract to Canada now fulfilled and a second overseas order to Italy concluded. The export market is something the pair is keen to crack in larger volumes with a view to forging strong links with a greater number of overseas partners.

The Browns are now developing an English rum, produced from molasses, together with a brandy created with pressings from award-winning winery Winbirri Wines, which made history by becoming the first English vineyard to win the coveted ‘Decanter Wine Award’ for an English still wine.

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