Dyfi Distillery | Corris
Pronounced "Dovey", the UNESCO World Biosphere of Dyfi was always going to be the preferred location for the Cameron brothers to embark upon their foraging and distilling exploits. It is home to some of the most diverse flora, cleanest water, darkest skies and lowest population in Europe. Add a fascinating community of people and it's perhaps no surprise that UNESCO have recognised Dyfi as a World Biosphere Reserve; the only one in Wales.
Pete Cameron is a hill farmer, forager, and beekeeper who moved to the area 35 years ago to study biology and botany. His brother, Danny Cameron, is a highly experienced wine and spirits professional, and a regular judge at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards. After two years of intensive research and experimentation, they opened Dyfi Distillery in March 2016, which would combine a sustainable blend of nature, science and family. For the Cameron's, this not only means respecting the fragile local environment, but also creating world-class gins so this small family business can contribute to their local rural economy.
Between 2016 and early 2019, they distilled in very small batches using two small 100 litre stills. After looking at options from all over the world, their preference lay with a specialist still maker in Colorado. Further customisations were made to the new still on its arrival allowing for maximum control over maceration temperatures, variable copper contact for distillation and much more besides...the result was what one commentator called precision-distilling!
In 2017, the Dyfi Pollination Gin won the Best British Gin trophy at the Great British Food awards, and Dyfi Hibernation Gin was awarded Best New Gin by The Independent newspaper. In 2018, Dyfi Original Gin again took the Best British Gin trophy, making Dyfi the only distillery to win this award for a second time.
Early in 2018, Pete and Danny spent time with a small family firm of still-makers in Germany's Black Forest. Their intention was to introduce a new still which combined the craft of traditional manufacture, but adapted to all they had learned about producing foraged-led distillates. After a year of design and build, they installed a bespoke 'total control system' still.
These are truly remarkable gins, meticulously crafted with wild Welsh botanicals foraged in the Dyfi Biosphere Reserve and which quite rightly deserve the high praise and recognition they are now garnering...a must try!