Emma Watson and brother Alex launch Chablis-inspired gin

02 May, 2023

Actress Emma Watson and brother Alex have partnered to launch a gin brand inspired by the Chablis wine region, where their father has operated as a winemaker for more than 30 years.

Renais, which translates as reborn, is made with a base spirit produced from discarded grapes from the winemaking process and is certified carbon neutral.

The flavour profile for the gin is inspired by the siblings’ childhood trips to the family vineyard, Domaine Watson, with pressed organic grapes from Chablis’ Grand Cru, a distillate created from the Kimmeridgian stone that creates Chablis terroir, and natural botanicals that conjure the tasting notes of region’s wines.

“I wanted to do something that no one had ever done: 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,” said Alex who has more than a decade of experience in the drinks industry.

“Renais is our family’s love letter to Chablis, taking inspiration from the heritage of the region but combining it with an innovative and forward-thinking, yet sustainable approach to spirit making.”

The Watson family have strong ties to the Chablis region with the siblings’ father Chris Watson having first planted vines in the region over thirty years ago.

In 2002, Domaine Watson won a Medaille d’Argent for second-best independent grower of Chablis and soon after, Chris was appointed as a pilier of Chablis and the region’s ambassador to the UK.

Emma commented: “To me, Renais is a family project – 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.

“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.

“We will continue to challenge ourselves as much as possible here because this is such a passion of mine.”

Renais will launch in the UK in May with a limited release of 3,000 – 4,000 bottles, a subsequent batch will be available in June directly from www.renais.co.uk and in Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London.

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