Halewood Artisanal Spirits has invested £5 million to open a new vodka distillery in St Petersburg, Russia, for the company’s J.J Whitley Vodka brand.
The J.J. Whitley Russia Distillery will be Halewood’s 13th global distillery, and the company claims that the site will be the first British owned vodka distillery in Russia.
According to Halewood, the new distillery has been established to enhance the provenance and quality of the J.J Whitley Vodka portfolio, and the full range will be produced and bottled at the site for distribution to markets around the world, including the UK & Russia.
The distillery will reportedly utilise water from local 160m deep artesian wells, which then passes through four stages of filtration at the distillery to achieve the “optimal balance for distilling premium Russian vodka.”
Stewart Hainsworth, group CEO of Halewood Artisanal Spirits, said: “Opening the distillery in St. Petersburg marks a big step forward for our artisanal spirits offering. It enables us to offer truly authentic vodka which is distilled in one of Russia’s most historic cities, using superlative quality Russian grain and water.
“J.J Whitley is now perfectly placed to provide supermarkets, convenience stores and the on trade with a premium vodka range that meets this demand for both quality and value.”
As well as opening the new distillery, Halewood confirmed it was changing the name of the business from Halewood Wines & Spirits to Halewood Artisanal Spirits.
According to a statement from Halewood, the name change reflects its continued focus on growing its premium artisanal spirits portfolio, and the opening of the new St Petersburg distillery forms part of this strategy.
The news comes several weeks after Halewood announced that it would close the site of its UK headquarters in Huyton, as the company claimed the joint impact of Covid-19 and the abolition of duty dilution had a major impact on its sales.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020