Reefton Distilling Co. attracting international talent in Managerial appointment
Brewing & Distilling
Brewing & Distilling

Reefton Distilling Co. attracting international talent in Managerial appointment

Reefton Distilling Co. has announced the recent appointment of Scotch Whisky industry expert Gareth Morgan to fill the role of Distillery Manager at their Reefton site over on the West Coast.

Morgan shares his experiences transitioning from the prestigious Macallan Distillery in Scotland to his new role in New Zealand. 

He speaks about his move to New Zealand, attracted by the rapid growth of Reefton Distilling Co., and his admiration for their whisky and gin offerings. 

"The real draw was just what Reefton Distilling Co has already been able to achieve in such a short space of time," he says.

His connection to the whisky industry is deep-rooted, as he comes from a family with a long heritage in distilling. 

Morgan reflects on his beginnings at Macallan and his pivotal role at Tamnavulin Distillery, where he was instrumental in launching their single malt range. He discusses the significance of Reefton's "Moonlight Creek" whisky brand, noting its historical and geographical inspiration. 

He had not sampled the whisky before deciding to make the move but had heard "extremely good feedback" about the quality of Reefton's spirits. His decision to join Reefton was also influenced by positive accounts from friends and family about New Zealand. The charm of life in Reefton is also a focal point of the conversation. 

Morgan paints a vivid picture of the coastal community's warmth and how it has embraced his family. 

"I can walk down the street and people that I don't know...they'll take the time out of the day just to say hello," he shares, emphasising the friendly and welcoming nature of the locals. 

In terms of production, he highlights the importance of local ingredients, particularly the pure rainfall and high-quality malt from Gladfields Maltings. He asserts that Reefton's goal is to produce "the best whisky in the world," a testament to the high standards and ambitions of the distillery. 

The pure water and favourable conditions contribute to a product that is maturing at an impressive rate.

"We've got stock at the moment that's a year and a half old and already that would be what I would class between a two and a three-year-old Speyside whisky." 

The conversation concludes with a nod to the growth of New Zealand's distilling industry, as Morgan acknowledges the trend towards sophisticated spirits like gin and whisky. He expresses gratitude for being able to continue his passion in such a picturesque part of the world.

"Every day I wake up and I have to pinch myself as if it's a dream." 

Overall, the conversation delves into Gareth Morgan's personal and professional journey, the rise of Reefton Distilling Co., and the allure of the New Zealand lifestyle, capturing the essence of a man who is as much a connoisseur of life as he is of whisky.

Listen to the full chat between Gareth Morgan and Dominic George above.

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