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NZ's First Premium Vodka Launched In Wellington

Published: Wed 17 Nov 1999 03:30 PM
Media Release
17 November
NEW ZEALAND'S FIRST PREMIUM VODKA LAUNCHED IN WELLINGTON
42 BELOW, New Zealand's first full strength premium vodka will be launched tonight at a special 'exhibition' for invited guests at Wellington's 'infamous' Brava restaurant.
The brainchild of Wellington advertising 'suit' Geoff Ross, 42 BELOW draws its name from Wellington's position on the 42nd parallel - and its alcohol content, which makes it one of the stronger vodkas available on the market.
"New Zealand has a reputation for producing some truly great wines - and we definitely produce some world class beers - but we don't have a tradition of making quality spirits, which is surprising because we have all the clean, green values you associate with a premium vodka and fantastic ingredients to make it with right here," said Geoff Ross.
42 BELOW is a smooth, full, grain-based vodka similar in style to vodkas produced in Scandinavian countries, which differ from the potato and rye-based vodkas typical of Russia and Poland. A characteristic of grain-based vodkas is that they have a smoother taste than their rye or potato-based counterparts.
42 BELOW is batch-distilled just out of Wellington by a distiller with more than 20 years experience in the industry, and using water that has attained the highest purity rating possible.
"I see 42 BELOW as a premium vodka, which is New Zealand's answer to the established imported varieties. 42 BELOW will only be available from leading edge bars and restaurants. Eventually I hope it will be available direct to the retail market, but at the moment I'm just concentrating on getting a small, loyal group of outlets on board."
"Once the fundamentals are in place I will look further afield, but this has been a personal dream of mine for a number of years and I want to make sure things go right."
Geoff Ross and his wife Justine spent a long time just searching for the right shaped bottle and finally found one that seemed perfect. The problem? It was made in Italy. However, the result ('The bottle is LONG and the vodka STRONG') is a long clear bottle with the 'label' printed directly on to the bottle and then kiln-fired.
42 BELOW is already available at Q Bar, Matterhorn, Flipp, Beacon, Two Rooms and Brava in Wellington and Lenin in Auckland. More outlets are planned in future.
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