Diageo launches super-premium Italian gin brand inspired by winemaking

Kate Malczewski

Kate Malczewski

20 May 2019

Spirits behemoth Diageo has announced the launch of a super-premium gin brand, Villa Ascenti, inspired by the Italian winemaking tradition.

To accompany the new brand, Diageo has built a new £360,000 distillery in Santa Vittoria headed up by master distiller and trained winemaker Lorenzo Rosso.

Rosso has been tasked with crafting a gin using local ingredients from the region’s farmers to harness the flavours of the north-west Piedmont region. He makes the gin using Moscato grapes, fresh mint, thyme and Tuscan juniper.

‘I’m particularly proud of the use of the Moscato grape distillate, an idea that stemmed from my winemaking experience,’ commented Rosso.

The distillate, he said, has a significant impact on the gin’s flavour: ‘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,’ he explained.

‘Enhanced through copper distillation, the smooth, fruity flavour of this distillate rounds off zesty juniper notes to create a velvety, slightly sweet gin.’

Villa Ascenti is launching this month across 14 markets, including the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, Ireland and Austria.

'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,' said Diageo. 

41% abv, RRP £35, diageo.com

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