At Capreolus Distillery, distiller Barney Wilczak demands the highest standards. Having produced and handled every spirit at the distillery this is understandable. Individual varieties of fruits are only distilled in years where the quality reaches the highest levels. The experience and focus surrounding Barney Wilczak’s work with fruit distillation led to a desire to create a gin of effortless complexity.
Finely formed valleys, coppiced woodland, breath-taking wildflower meadows and golden limestone form a backdrop of immense beauty to this small distillery tucked away in the heart of the Cotswolds.
Raised in these surroundings, Barney Wilczak has led a life entwined in the magic of this most idyllic of landscapes. As a photographer he has spent his career focusing on conservation stories. This has led to the supply of non-profit media to conservationists in over 118 countries.
This high level of focus on the natural world, biology and artistic expression, also guided his pursuits outside of this field. The fascination of guiding fermentation, working with natural biological processes, led to years of pursuing perfection in fruit distillates. Deep research and an obsessive focus have led to the distillation of Eaux de Vie that have never been seen on these shores before.
After long planning it was chosen to create a distillery in the house where Barney grew up. The old lean-to greenhouse, a frame of timber and Cotswold stone, was converted to house a very special custom still. Every aspect was chosen to preserve the fruits elegance and quality that exists for just a few days.
“Free from chill filtering, recycling of feints and artificial colourants”
The experience and focus surrounding his work with fruit distillation led to a desire to create a gin of effortless complexity. Hundreds of test distillations, explorations of individual species and the best way to extract their unique perfume, led to the creation of Garden Swift, its name is drawn from an exquisite day flying moth and another night flying inhabitant.
Homegrown and wild species enrich a palate of 34 botanicals. A secret recipe whose result varies with the weather, the distillers mood and the seasons effects on the ingredients, it is something to savour and experience in its flux and evolution.
The production of such wonderful products is a costly pursuit without compromise. Reflecting this our gin and Eaux de Vie are hand bottled and finished with traditionally printed letterpress labels. The packaging design is only trusted to family (getitsorted.org) and hand fed letterpress printing to Andrew Morrison (twowoodpress.co.uk), the father of Barney’s partner.
And the origin for the name of the distillery? Capreolus comes from the Latin name of the most beautiful of all deer, the roe, Capreolus Capreolus. Delicate, slipping away, this animal is a constant accompaniment to picking in the surrounding countryside, a reminder of the fleeting nature of what the team are trying to preserve.