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The Story

Of Cardrona

Creating the finest spirits with pure Alpine water sourced from the heart of Mount Cardrona, from New Zealand's Southern Alps, and locally foraged seasonal ingredients to produce an unparalleled signature taste.
Cardrona Distillery is family owned and operated. The very best equipment has been sourced from the four corners of the earth, to make exquisite handcrafted Single Malt Whisky, Gin, Vodka and Liqueurs.

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Following a Dream

In early 2011, craftswoman, Desiree Reid-Whitaker, decided to pursue her dream of making a New Zealand single malt whisky that would stand tall on the international stage. She began researching distillation and the crafting of great spirits. The exquisite range of award winning whiskies, spirits and liqueurs produced at the Cardrona Distillery is the result of many years of study, planning and research.

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Tutored by the Masters

Desiree Reid-Whitaker travelled widely for two and a half years, learning from many of the world’s masters, including the late Dave Pickerell, former head of Maker’s Mark. Her studies took her back to Scotland and through the United States many times, to garner the technical know-how and marketing insight to build Cardrona Distillery.

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In May 2013, Desiree Reid-Whitaker sold her farming business to move to Wanaka, ultimately finding the distillery site at Cardrona. On 23 October 2015, the spirit flowed for the first time and on 5 November, the first cask was laid.