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FT-sep17-eMag1 49 ander seed from the Wairarapa, we use Taranaki mountain water from Stratford, a citrus orchard is being established here in Taranaki and we work with a limery on the East Coast.” A grower in Oakura supplies licorice root and angelica, and Jo is currently obsessed with bergamot orange, which they happened on by chance from a vacuum cleaner salesman who had a tree growing in his back garden. Juno also produces limited edition seasonal gins that are developed from hand-selected local ingredients harvested at the peak of perfection. “We are even talking with local horticulturalists and iwi to possibly grow juniper (the main flavour used to create gin) as a commercial crop,” Jo says. “We’re applying for funding now to do the first crop trials.” As a former conservation consultant, the idea of introducing a new environmentally sustainable crop to New Zealand’s horticultural landscape excites Dave. “Sustainability is one of our core values. We use rainwater from our roof for cooling processes, we use extremely efficient heating techniques and we’ve developed a capacity to re-use our botanicals rather than discard them. “For example, our juniper is sent to a local chocolatier to be used in making chocolate truffles.” The James are keen to promote a different kind of drinking culture by considering how spirits are packaged, and will offer their gin in 200ml and 700ml bottles so drinkers have a choice of volume. The 200ml product can also offer seasonal flavours so gin aficionados can try something different from the endless variety of flavours. The James have three core business values – make it fun, make it together and make it right – which come from their experience working in the food industry. Sustainability is important to both of them, and making it right first time ticks all their boxes, Dave says. The couple have funding from the central government research and development arm Callaghan Institute, and are working with Massey University researchers looking at botanical suppliers.

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