Koakoa Limoncello, made on the Kāpiti Coast, has won Gold at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition, the only New Zealand Limoncello to take the honour.

The awards are Asia’s most prestigious wine and spirit competition, designed and run by some of the most influential figures in the wine and spirit industry. The company’s Bond Store Kawakawa Gin also won a Bronze Medal.

“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,” said chief Koakoa crafter Chris Barber.

Koakoa Limoncello and The Bond Store Gin recently gained the NZ Fernmark Accreditation, the official recognition of a product’s connection to New Zealand. Barber said having the Fernmark is 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% Kiwi company, using New Zealand products (where we can) to build a family business we are proud of," he said.

“The lemons we use are from Gisborne, and the Kawakawa in our Gin grows at our family farm in the Wairarapa, which our family harvest each year. Family and friends help hand zest our lemons, and we produce our Limoncello and Gin in the heart of 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."