Taranaki gin distiller Juno Gin has walked away with a gold medal at the inaugural 2019 New Zealand Spirits Awards.

With seven categories, the awards acknowledge and celebrate the very best of local and international spirits.
Entries underwent a blind tasting, that saw judges sampling the finest spirits New Zealand has on offer, from Vodka and Gin, to Liqueurs and Brandies.

Judges included Master Distillers, Associate Members of the Australian Distillers Association and hospitality experts with more years sampling the worlds finest spirits than many of us have been alive.

The awards were a huge success for Juno, who collected a Gold medal in the Gin category for their Limited-edition Seasonal Gin – Summer 2019, as well as a Silver for their Styx Barrel-Aged Gin and Bronze for their Extra Fine Gin.

Venture Taranaki, in partnership with Callaghan Innovation, provide research and development (R&D) grant opportunities to Taranaki businesses, who are wanting to investigate new innovative ideas. 

Juno received a research and development project grant to explore a variety of production processes that affect the flavor of their product to produce, innovative, aromatic botanical notes that no one else has developed in gin before and resulted in the development of their limited-edition gold medal gin.

 “We were able to explore the flavour permutations of preparing and distilling the tangelos and the red clover flowers in different ways, enabling us to build the extraordinary juicy, lively, fresh tangelo flavour that clearly won the hearts of the judges”, said Juno Gin Director, Jo James.

 “We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Zara and Venture Taranaki for their support in accessing this funding”.

Juno Gin has been working with Venture Taranaki’s Economic Development team since setting up their business in Taranaki in 2016.  Along with R&D funding, they have also accessed support for training, business coaching, export advice and connections with technical expertise. 

“We are always keen to work with businesses who have innovative ideas. We can connect them with a variety of support opportunities and as we are part of a nationwide business network we can link businesses with specialist expertise to help bring their idea to fruition,” says Venture Taranaki Business Advisor Zara Ryan.

Venture Taranaki was also able to connect Juno to R&D experts at Massey University, who provided provided advice and testing facilities to research flavor options.

“It has been great to be able to support Juno with the development of this flavour, and to see their efforts recognised as part of the New Zealand Spirits Awards said Taranaki Massey University Business Development Manager Eve Kawana-Brown.