Craft distillery set to open at award-winning South Wales golf resort
Golfers will soon be able to take a swing at making their own gin at one of the country’s top golf resorts as a new craft distillery is set to open at the Vale Resort in south Wales.
Visitors will be able to distil, bottle and take home their own bespoke bottle of gin, in the basement of the 400-year old Hensol Castle, located in the grounds of the Vale Resort, which is being converted into a craft spirit distillery, bonded warehouse, gin school and visitor experience as part of a £7 million redevelopment programme.
Following a round on one of the championship courses at the Vale Resort, golfers will be able to book a tour of the distillery, learn about the history of gin as well as Hensol Castle, discover the botanicals that go into different gins and enjoy a gin tasting at the cocktail bar.
The new Hensol Castle Distillery is a joint venture between the Leeke family, who own The Vale Resort and Leekes, and the Mallows family who own Bottlers and Distillers Wales.
Paul Beddoe, marketing director at the Vale Resort and Hensol Castle, said: “We’re transforming the 19th hole! Golfers already flock to the Vale Resort for the quality of our courses – and now we are offering them another compelling reason to visit. After all, where else can you enjoy a gin you’ve made yourself, exactly to your taste after playing on courses that have been used in, European Tour events and PGA championships?”
The craft gin market is booming in the UK. According to figures from The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), there are more than 100 different brands of gin in the UK, with 73 million bottles sold to the domestic market in 2018, worth £2.1 billion. Combined sales of gin, both home and overseas, have broken £2.5 billion, and Britain now exports more gin than beef.
The once derelict 17th century Hensol Castle, which has been used as a backdrop in BBC dramas including Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes and Torchwood, has already been transformed into a first-class wedding and conference destination by the owners of the Vale Resort. The introduction of a top-end restaurant will follow the opening of the craft distillery, which is set to launch later this year.
Mr Beddoe added: “We are constantly improving the experience we offer to our golfers, including a £650,000 investment in state-of-the-art golf course and greens equipment, including new GPS buggies. This commitment to being the best is one of the reasons why we were named Wales’ Best Golf Hotel for the last two years running in the World Travel Awards.
“Providing another attraction that golfers can enjoy during their time at the Vale Resort is part of our strategy to make sure we attract golfers to the Vale Resort – and that they return time and time again.”