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Emma Watson and Her Brother Are Launching a New Gin Made From Wine Grapes

Cue a new round of Goblet of Fire cocktail recipes.

Renais Gin Sebastien Gonon

Emma Watson is the latest celebrity to get into the spirits business with the launch of a new gin in partnership with her brother Alex. But this isn’t a classic London dry—Renais Gin has deep ties to winemaking, starting with the fact that it’s made from a grape spirit base.

Emma Watson might be new to the world of gin, but her family has a long background in French wine. The siblings’ father, Chris, planted the Domaine Watson vineyards three decades ago. In 2002 he took second place as the best indie Chablis grower and won a Medaille d’Argent, and subsequently became the Chablis ambassador to the U.K. Emma’s brother Alex has worked for a decade in the beverage industry, including a stint with drinks giant Diageo.

Drawing on this background, Renais Gin is made from a base spirit distilled from the byproducts of the winemaking process instead of grain—specifically, “upcycled French pressed wine grape skins and lees,” according to the brand, some of which came from the family vineyard. This is mixed with something called “Kimmeridgian stone distillate,” pressed Grand Cru grapes, and botanicals including linden flowers, cubeb berries, acacia honey, and of course juniper.

“Not only does the Chablis region evoke very special memories of growing up, I’ve loved having the opportunity to create something with my brother Alex,” said Emma Watson in a statement. “I’m particularly proud of upcycling grapes from vineyards (including my dad’s) to reduce waste and create something new, being one of the only gins on the market using mushroom packaging, and our carbon neutral product status.”

Alex and Emma Watson gin
Alex and Emma Watson Renais

“I wanted to do something that no one had ever done,” added Alex, “to capture the essence of a specific terroir, the uniqueness of Chablis, by drawing on the traditions, techniques and ingredients from the land, and embodying those characteristics in a gin.”

About that mushroom comment—the Magical Mushroom Company created biodegradable packaging for the gin, part of an sustainability initiative that includes the use of solar powered stills, offsetting carbon emissions by supporting wind farms in India through Climate Partner, and the use of the upcycled grape skins that are at the core of the spirit.

The gin is meant to be served neat, over ice, or in a variety of cocktails ranging from a classic Martini to a gin and tonic or a Negroni. Tasting notes from the brand mention “Chablis minerality, fresh citrus, white grape, garden herbs, flowers, and juniper.” Renais Gin will be available in the U.K. for £60 ($75) via the brand’s website in a limited initial run of 3,500 bottles. Or you can visit the Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London if you’d like to try it in a cocktail before you bring a bottle home.

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