The launch of Villa Ascenti follows the completion of the Distilleria Santa Vittoria, located in Santa Vittoria, Italy, and the refurbishment of a Frilli copper pot still, which dates back to the 1970s.
To begin with, the gin will launch in 14 European countries from May – including the UK, Italy, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland and Poland – as Diageo aims to tap into the “fast-growing” super-premium gin market.
To make the gin, which is bottled at 41% ABV, Moscato grapes are harvested in August and September, and are then distilled three times.
Diageo Reserve Europe general manager Tanya Clarke said the gin comes at a time when the trend shows “no signs of slowing down”.
“Gin has been the runaway success story of the industry over the past decade,” said an enthused Clarke.
“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.”
Echoing Clarke's comments was Lorenzo Rosso, master distiller for Villa Ascenti gin at Distilleria Santa Vittoria.
“On the nose, the mint and thyme are vibrant and refreshing alongside the spice of the Tuscan juniper berries, while on the palate, the Moscato grapes really come to life,” Rosso explained.
“Enhanced through copper distillation, the smooth, fruity flavour of this distillate rounds off zesty juniper notes to create a velvety, slightly sweet gin.”
According to data from Nielsen MAT to 23 February 2019, as quoted by Diageo, the super-premium and ultra-premium gin sectors grew 38.6% in volume and 41.3% in value in the UK.