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Welsh gin distillery bought out by leisure group

A young Welsh gin distillery is set for expansion after a buy-out by the company behind its historic home.

The Leekes Retail and Leisure Group - owners of Leekes, the Vale Resort and Hensol Castle - have become the sole owners of the Hensol Castle Distillery, which is located in the 17th-century building's cellars.

The distillery started production in spring 2019 and has so far launched two on-trade ranges, Benjamin Hall gin and vodka and Crawshay gin, as well as the Trulo reduced-calorie liqueur range which proved a hit during the UK's coronavirus lockdowns.

Hensol Castle Distillery's new managing director, Christopher Leeke, said: "These are exciting times for the distillery. Our contract bottling division is extremely busy with new enquiries arriving weekly, while our own brands are gaining in popularity via retail outlets throughout the UK, particularly our exciting market defining Trulo range.

"The 'ginaissance' shows no signs of abating, as it continues to be a popular tipple among us Brits. According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, 75 million bottles of gin were sold in 2020, 10 million extra bottles compared to the same period in 2019."

Hensol Castle Distillery is preparing for the opening of its visitor experience, tasting bar and gin school, which was originally supposed to launch in March 2020 but is now slated to open in September 2021.

Christopher Leeke continued: "We have invested heavily in creating a first-class visitor experience that is designed to educate and delight in equal measures and, judging by the forward ticket sales, it appears that the public are just as excited as we are about it."

As well as the distillery, Hensol Castle is home to the Vale Resort spa, golf, wedding, conference and hotel complex, which opened in 2015 following a multi-million pound investment. 

14 May 2021 - Bethany Whymark