Grapes that make world-class wines. And now, something else besides.
The Romans introduced it, and the Normans continued it. But after them, wine-making in England languished for almost six centuries, and this sceptred isle became an oenological backwater.
Then in the 1970s, a few brave, visionary souls set out to turn the tide. Critics scoffed, connoisseurs sneered; but time, grit and numerous international awards answered them all. And now, England’s vineyards are producing not one, but two world-beaters. Because as well as spectacular wines, their wonderful grapes now provide the starting point for our unique distilling adventure.
For almost 50 years, in their own quiet way, England’s vineyards have been a veritable hotbed of revolutionary thinking. A tradition of innovation we’re proud to continue with Foxhole Spirits.
Where a waste material becomes a world-beater.
After pressing, the beautiful English grapes are reduced to a pulpy mass of skins, flesh and pips. Known by its French name, marc, it’s a waste product; and every year, the industry produces literally tonnes of the stuff. Unfortunately, it usually ends up on the compost pile, along with around a third of each harvest’s precious juice: an inglorious fate for a resource so rare and valuable. It just didn’t seem right. We thought: there has to be something better we can do with this. And there is.
We recover marc from vineyards throughout England, and send it back for a second pressing. All that exquisite, formerly lost juice is lovingly collected, fermented and made into an English Wine. Not that you’ll ever get to drink it: every drop is shipped to the distillery, where it takes its place at the heart of our unique Foxhole Spirits products.
What was once simply discarded is reclaimed and repurposed through craft, skill and resourcefulness. Why just make a great cocktail, when you can also make a real difference?
A blend of skills, experience and artistry as rare as the Gin itself.
Technically, you can make gin in about 48 hours. Which makes you wonder why we need 8,760 – or an entire year - to make a batch of Foxhole Gin. The answer is that most gins are made using grain spirit alone. Ours, on the other hand, includes grape spirit. So we have to factor in a full grape-growing season, harvest and first pressing for winemaking, before we can even start. Then we have to make our own English wine, which doesn’t happen overnight, either.
It takes two days to distil the wine into grape spirit; another two days to blend it with neutral spirit and carefully selected botanicals. Then it’s back to the still for a second time, and the real magic happens.
But because no two grape vintages are the same, our raw material changes from year to year, too. So we work with our distillers to achieve the perfect flavour balance and ensure consistent quality. The result is a smooth, aromatic gin whose flavours subtly change with each new harvest. To be honest, we couldn’t make it any quicker, even if we wanted to. We think you’ll agree it’s definitely worth taking time over.
Without wine, there would be no Foxhole Gin. And we could think of no better homage to the winemaker’s art than to present our product in a Burgundy-style wine bottle. The glass is perfectly clear like Foxhole Gin itself, and sealed with a glass closure under a copper foiled seal.
We developed the Foxhole Gin brand in collaboration with brand design agency Warren Creative who share our love of traditional craftsmanship, and finding clever, elegant answers to questions others don’t even think to ask.
Each bottle is screen printed by hand with a precious metal ink, which is fired at a precise high temperature to turn the ink copper, along with a white ceramic ink to emphasise the detail in the design. The back and sides of the bottle are decorated with a custom illustration of vine leaves, reflecting Foxhole Gin's oenological connections. Our bold, bushy-tailed fox logo appears in all his glory on the front, and in a subtly embossed form on the top of the seal.