Northamptonshire distillery to launch its first gin

image of the new wharf distillery gin

A small Northamptonshire distillery is set to launch its first gin inspired by the flavours of old England.

Wharf Distillery, based in Potterspury, will launch the spirit later this month at an Artisan Food & Drink Market at their distillery, deli and tap room.

The gin is the latest spirit from the business which began distilling in 2014 with the launch of an apple brandy produced from their own cider.

Owner Laurence Conisbee and partner Alice Warren are particularly proud of the new gin which sits alongside their single malt spirits, vodka, brandy and wide range of liqueurs.

Mr Conisbee said: “All our core spirits take their names from Anglo Saxon origin. Our Gin is called Safine Drenc which literally means Juniper Drink.

“The production of the gin was driven by customers coming into the distillery and asking which gin was ours. We thought why not, it could be a bit of fun, but we wanted to create a gin that actually tasted and smelt like gin.

“Safine Drenc has a good dose of juniper berries and this forms the backbone of the gin, as it should. We have then entwined some classic botanicals and some less common ones.

“We have lemongrass to add a touch of the orient and an element of citrus, elderflower to add to the bouquet and to give flavours of the English countryside, then ling heather, the essence of old England and a symbol of courage, nostalgia and wellbeing.

“Wharf Distillery is all about local, small batch, hand crafted produce that’s often a little bit different. Our gin sits neatly in our range of passionately crafted spirits, each one telling its own story.”

Formerly known as Virtual Orchard, the business has evolved from cider production to spirit distillation to diversify and expand.

Mr Conisbee started producing spirits in 2011 when a chance conversation with a nearby distillery led to their own apple brandy being distilled from his award-winning cider. By 2014 Mr Conisbee had his own licence to distil to ensure the firm had control of production from start to finish.

Wharf Distillery, named after the old wharf building they began distilling in next to the Grand Union Canal, has recently undergone a rebrand to embrace their diversification into artisan spirits.

Mr Conisbee said: “We were looking for a strong identity for our new distillery, one that echoed our heritage and the way in which we craft our spirits. The rebranding has now given us the robust identity we were seeking for our operation.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved. In November we will be releasing our first Whisky which will officially see us become England’s smallest Whisky Distillery.”

The Wharf Distillery, Deli and Tap Room is located on the site of an old dairy farm at Wakefield Country Courtyard just outside Potterspury, South Northamptonshire. It sits just off the A5 amid several other retail shops, a woodland walk, children’s play area and tea room.

The deli stocks more than 250 food and drink products from over 50 local producers all sourced within 15 miles of the business, while the tap room always has several of the distillery’s ciders and a local beer on draught.

Mr Conisbee said: “To us our location is very important and our connection with the landscape and the people is core to our business. We like to engage the public in what we are doing, to invite them in to see what we do and how we do it, and wherever possible to source our grains and fruits locally.

“We want our products to be enjoyed widely but for people to understand that what they are sipping is just the latest chapter in a long story of passion, dedication and craftsmanship.”

The market will take place on Saturday, March 17 from 11am until 2pm at Wharf Distillery. The distillery will be open all day from 10am until 5pm.

To find out more about Wharf Distillery and their products visit