Taking care of the

Cardrona Valley

For future generations


Our approach

Cardrona Distillery believes in preserving and bettering our environment for future generations.  Our distillery is designed to tread softly in our Outstanding Natural Landscape.

We have a World Class Building design by New Zealand Fellow of the Institute of Architecture, Sarah Scott.
It is thermally insulated with natural earth-wool insulation.

It has been designed to recycle distillery heat to warm the visitor buildings and designed with sensitivity to the area's Outstanding Natural Landscape.

Reducing our Carbon Footprint

By-products : The carbon footprint of reusing the spent grain is amongst the lowest in the world, it is fed to the neighbouring sheep, deer and cattle on the historic Cardrona Valley Farm Station.

The water used to cool the hot wort (sugar-rich barley water) drawn from the Mash tun picks up heat energy in the process. This is not wasted. The warmer water exiting the heat exchanger is directed back to the Hot Liquor Tanks to become second and third waters, terms given to the successive washing of the malt with hot water to extract sugar. Cooling of wort is important as it must arrive at the fermentation vessel at a temperature suitable for fermentation.

Our most precious resource

More than 95% of the water Cardrona uses is “borrowed” from our aquifer.  We return the water in pristine condition. Cardrona Distillery utilises its own bore water supply to run the still condensers. Litres of water per minute required to condense vapour to liquid distillate is substantial and fluctuates with changing groundwater temperature throughout the year.

On reaching a set temperature, the warmer water exiting shell and tube condensers is directed to an underfloor heating system in the Cellar Door visitor centre & restaurant and if ever needed, the Barn, our barrel room. It is then sent down the hill to a cooling tank where it cools naturally before returning to the Cardrona River. A substantial draw but one that is borrowed and carefully managed.

The journey

All spent grain (draff) is delivered directly to feed the deer of Cardrona Valley Farms. The draff truck never touches a sealed road. Spent grain is delivered from the mash tun to a waiting truck; parked on a pad outside the Tun room walls, via auger. That fibre rich, often warm, food source is seasonally supplemented by the ‘Pot ale’ from Roaring Meg.

Pot Ale or what is left behind after the first copper pot distillation is effectively a fermented barley liquid that has been stripped of alcohol. When not being fed to the locals; pot ale can be spread like a fertiliser and provide essential nutrients to aid pasture growth.

Shipping: Cardrona chooses to ocean ship its spirits.  The carbon footprint of ocean shipping is less than the carbon used to drive to your local supermarket.

We also constantly endeavour to reduce our waste to landfill.

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