Hepple Spirits was born on the Hills of Hepple in Northumberland, one of Britain’s last wild sanctuaries for juniper. In March 2013, celebrated foraging chef Valentine Warner, critically acclaimed bartender Nick Strangeway and distillery developer Cairbry Hill travelled to meet with Walter Riddell, owner of the Hepple estate. During their visit, the group found themselves amongst an array of ancient junipers and it was at this point where the team realised that the core to gin had never been fully uncovered. Research on their first spirit took almost two years, celebrating juniper at the core, laced with complementary flavours and aromas!
Our story began at our home, on the hills of Hepple, one of Britain’s last wild sanctuaries for juniper.
Celebrated foraging chef Valentine Warner brought legendary bartender Nick Strangeway and distillery developer Cairbry Hill up to Hepple in the remote Northumbrian National Park to meet Walter Riddell, owner of the Hepple estate in March 2013. A bone-chilling wind was blowing from the east, as ever.
Our original plan was to make something esoteric, but out on the moor the wind hounded us to take refuge amongst a stand of ancient junipers, glittering with green and purple berries.
The gin revolution was underway, and innovation was coming thick and fast. The innovation was about new botanical inclusions, discoveries of ancient recipes and of new distilleries that honoured places, people.
As we huddled amongst the shaking juniper, bejewelled with berries, it became clear that something core to gin had never been fully revealed. In our chilly Aladdin’s cave was something bright, complex, glittering – the true essence of gin.