Prestigious award opens doors to Asian market for Kāpiti Coast limoncello maker

The company uses lemons sourced from Gisborne to produce the award-winning limoncello.
The company uses lemons sourced from Gisborne to produce the award-winning limoncello. Photo credit: Supplied

A Kāpiti Coast limoncello producer is hoping a win at a prestigious wine and spirit competition will help open doors in the lucrative Asian market.

Koakoa Limoncello was the only New Zealand limoncello to win a gold medal at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition.

The company's Bond Store Kawakawa Gin also won a bronze medal.

Chief Koakoa crafter Chris Barber, said the limoncello was the company's signature offering and the award paved the way to enter the Asian market in 2020. 

"Our business has doubled in size over the last 12 months, and we're hoping to do the same next year. We would love to see our Koakoa Limoncello on shelves in Hong Kong and Singapore, and we'll be making the most of our gold medal to get there," he said.

Koakoa Limoncello and The Bond Store Gin recently gained the NZ Fernmark Accreditation, which is the official recognition of a product's connection to New Zealand. 

Owners Chris Barber and Bec Kay celebrate the win.
Owners Chris Barber and Bec Kay celebrate the win. Photo credit: Supplied

Barber said having the Fernmark was important in markets like Asia where products of Kiwi origin are highly sought after.

"Asia is a key market for our export plans and carrying the Fernmark alongside the gold award will remove barriers that exporters without either would have. We're proud to be a 100 percent  Kiwi company, using New Zealand products where we can, to build a family business we are proud of."

The company uses lemons sourced from Gisborne, and the kawakawa in the gin grows at the Barber's family farm in the Wairarapa. 

Family and friends help hand zest the lemons, and both the limoncello and gin are produced on the Kāpiti Coast. 

"We want to share our uniquely kiwi story, and our products with the world and are looking forward to doing that in 2020."

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