Diageo debuts Villa Ascenti gin and new Italian distillery

Villa Ascenti Classico

Diageo is adding a super-premium Italian gin called Villa Ascenti to its spirits portfolio, produced at a new £360,000 distillery in Santa Vittoria.

Villa Ascenti will initially be launching in 14 markets which include UK, Italy, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland and Poland.

With the new launch, Diageo is tapping into the “fast-growing” super-premium gin market, which, according to data from Nielsen MAT, 23 February 2019, grew 38.6% in volume and 41.3% in value in the UK.

To create the gin, master distiller Lorenzo Rosso works with the local community of Italy’s northwest Piemonte region to source ingredients such as Moscato grapes, fresh mint and thyme.

The Moscato grapes are harvested in August and September when the fruit is at its best, before undergoing three distillations. During the final distillation, the grapes are infused with Tuscan juniper berries in the distillery’s newly refurbished Frilli copper pot still.

The resulting liquid is said to embody the classic flavour of gin, while capturing the taste of the brand’s homeland in Piemonte.

Lorenzo said: “It has been an absolute privilege to be involved in developing Villa Ascenti Gin, and to have the chance to showcase the very best of Piemonte to the world.

“It’s a beautiful gin with the region at its heart in its aroma and flavour, but also in how it’s best enjoyed – around the table with friends.

“I’m particularly proud of the use of the Moscato grape distillate, an idea that stemmed from my winemaking experience. To see this realised is incredible.

“On the nose, the mint and thyme are vibrant and refreshing alongside the spice of the Tuscan juniper berries, whilst on the palate, the Moscato grapes really come to life. Enhanced through copper distillation, the smooth, fruity flavour of this distillate rounds off zesty juniper notes to create a velvety, slightly sweet gin.”

Tanya Clarke, general manager of Diageo Reserve Europe, added: “Villa Ascenti Gin is rooted in provenance and brings local, fresh ingredients from Piemonte to life.

“Its use of locally grown ingredients from the foothills of Piemonte, alongside some of the more classic botanicals associated with gin, has allowed us to create a high-quality liquid, which we hope existing and new gin drinkers will love.

“We are incredibly excited to launch Villa Ascenti Gin, which will join our luxury spirits portfolio, Diageo Reserve, and enable us to really strengthen our gin portfolio which includes world class gins Gordon’s, Tanqueray, Tanqueray No Ten and Jinzu.”

Villa Ascenti gin (41% ABV) is available to the UK on and off-trade from May.

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