West Wales distillery In the Welsh Wind has ‘sold out’ of its inaugural release of 30 litre casks of single malt Welsh Origin Whisky.
The distillery, which pioneers locally grown Welsh barley and the use of ‘green’ (unkilned) malt, will now focus on the release of its own bottles over the coming years.
The 30 litre casks were made available as a means of allowing individuals to own some of what will be the only 100% Welsh single malt whisky available on the market for more than 100 years.
In the Welsh Wind is currently the only distillery in Wales which uses only Welsh grown barley in its Welsh Origin Whisky. It’s also the only distillery which completes the entire process, from malting the grain to bottling the matured product, at its site close to the market town of Cardigan, Ceredigion.
Purchasers of the 30 litre casks have been able to choose their cask seasoning from a selection of 10 on offer, from traditional red wine and sherry to more experimental such as Tequila.
In the Welsh Wind Distillery co-owner and director, Ellen Wakelam said: “To have sold out of our 30 litre casks is a massive achievement for us. We are hugely grateful that so many people have seen the excitement in what we are doing and have trusted us in this way.
“We had the idea to sell casks of our new make liquid as a way to allow people to join us on our journey to a ‘Welsh Origin’ whisky. Our whisky sits firmly within the Single Malt Welsh Whisky PGI status that was announced earlier this year.
“The processes we’ve developed over the last couple of years ensure all aspects of production take place here in Wales and reduce the amount of energy we use in our own whisky production.
“Research with the Open University suggests that the combination of local barley and on site malting gives our whisky a flavour profile unique to south Ceredigion.“
Whisky afficionados keen to try In the Welsh Wind’s first single malt Welsh whisky will need to wait until late spring 2024 when the first limited edition bottle release of experimental whisky is currently anticipated.
With the recent upsurge in interest in Welsh whisky, the distillery is expecting demand for its first bottle releases to be high. Details of these limited editions will be available from the distillery website www.inthewelshwind.co.uk and social media channels.
Graeme Wigglesworth, Talyllyn Railway’s new engineering manager.
The world’s first preserved railway has appointed a new engineering manager.
Graeme Wigglesworth takes over the engineering reins at Talyllyn Railway from Chris Smith who has left after five years on the Mid Wales coast to work at Churnet Valley Railway.
Graeme spent 20 years in IT before redundancy gave him the opportunity to join the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway as a seasonal driver. He finished that season as operations manager before moving to become engineering Manager at the National Tramway Museum at Crich.
He has been a member of the Heritage Railway Association Business Development Committee for several years and vice chair of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society, a DMU driver and driver’s assistant at North Norfolk.
JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion, recipient of Motorsport UK Environmental Sustainability Award.
Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.
The JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion is this year’s recipient of the Motorsport UK Environmental Sustainability Award.
Established in 2012, the award was created to acknowledge a truly exceptional achievement or contribution towards environmental responsibility and active promotion of sustainability within motorsport activities, events and communications.
The achievement places Rali Ceredigion amongst illustrious company, alongside previous winners that include Williams Advanced Engineering, Silverstone Circuit, Rally for Wales, Lord Drayson and last year’s winners Extreme E, the ground-breaking global championship featuring electric off-road vehicles.
Motorsport UK Chairman David Richards, CBE, said: “The Environmental Sustainability Award is testament to Rali Ceredigion’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact and the organiser’s efforts to integrate sustainable practices.
“Their dedication to preserving the beautiful landscapes of Ceredigion and its surroundings, while still offering competitors and spectators thrilling experiences, showcases the harmonious coexistence of motorsport and environmental sustainability.
“By receiving this award, Rali Ceredigion demonstrates that motorsport events can be conducted responsibly, respecting ecosystems and engaging with the local communities in which they take place.
“The event’s work in promoting eco-friendly practices is a shining example for all organisers. Motorsport UK is confident that Rali Ceredigion’s commitment to environmental sustainability will inspire other events to follow in their footsteps, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future for our sport.”
JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion organising committee chairman Phil Pugh was understandably delighted to receive news about the award.
“We fully appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to run our event in such a beautiful part of the world,” he said, “and we don’t take this privilege for granted.
“From the first time the event was held in 2019, we have focussed on sustainability. Each year, working together with our partners, we have explored new opportunities to decarbonise our event, implementing initiatives that will further reduce our impact on the environment, support local communities and educate people on options for lower-carbon transport.
“Therefore, winning the Motorsport UK Environmental Sustainability Award means a great deal us. To that end, I have to thank and commend the organising team for taking our commitment to sustainability and the environment to their hearts and for ensuring it stays paramount in everything we do.”
Such has been Rali Ceredigion’s commitment to sustainability, following the 2023 event it became the first UK rally to be awarded two-star FIA Environmental Accreditation.
This year, it offset 100 tCO2e via responsible and certified rewilding programmes in partnership with Carbon Positive Motorsport, one of the highest offsetting amounts by any rally event globally.
The Motorsport UK Environmental Sustainability award will be presented at the governing body’s annual ‘Night of Champions’ at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall on January 27, 2024.
About the event
Rali Ceredigion ran for the first time in 2019 and in doing so, became the first ever stage rally held on closed public roads in Wales. The event was heralded a great success, an accolade that saw it extend over two days, with more competitive mileage and a spectator stage in Aberystwyth town centre when it ran for the second time in 2022.
Building on achievements, organisers stepped things up further in 2023, increasing the length of the route, introducing further attractions for spectators and developing the rally’s sustainability credentials in a move that saw it become the first UK rally awarded two-star FIA Environmental Accreditation.
The 2024 JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion will take place between 30th August and 1st September. As well as the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship and Protyre Asphalt Championship, the event will host a round of the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship (ERC), in a move that will see this major international competition return to Wales for the first time in 28 years.
The grand doors to Powis Castle and Garden in Welshpool are open for a for a magical ‘Treasured Christmas’ experience.
Back are the huge, twinkly trees and lavish decorations with a new addition of enchanting outdoor light projections filling the great courtyard of this iconic Welsh castle.
Between December 14 and 23, the castle will stay open until the later time of 7pm for the festive themed lighting display. From dusk in the courtyard, the captivating display will welcome people to the medieval castle, inviting them to stop and watch the projections before ascending the steps.
Inside Powis Castle, ‘A Treasured Christmas’ returns until December 31 - closed 25 and 26 - with each State Room display taking inspiration from the treasures that lie within.
Visitors will be transported to different parts of the world as they explore beautifully decorated spaces, over-the-top Christmas trees and festive fireplaces.
With an Italian twist in the Dining Room, an Elizabethan theme in the Long Gallery and glistening Chinese decorations in the Blue Drawing Roo, which celebrates the rare Chinese lacquer screen, there’s something special to discover in every corner of the castle.
Every detail has been carefully thought out and meticulously planned over the last year by a team of dedicated National Trust staff and volunteers. From handmade mice and evergreen garlands to carefully wrapped presents, the magical Christmas display takes months to install.
Sarah Johnson, National Trust Cymru’s visitor operations and experience manager at Powis Castle and Garden, said: “A huge amount of planning and careful consideration goes into delivering this spectacle for our visitors. Every year we like to add something new to the experience.
“This year, we will be open until 7pm on selected days, so it gives everyone a chance to enjoy the festive displays with friends and family after work.
We can’t wait for visitors to step into the courtyard and be met with festive projections lighting up the front of the Castle. Christmas is always a magical time at Powis and we look forward to welcoming everyone back this year.”
Throughout December, including on late nights, the Courtyard Café and Shop will be open for visitors.
For those looking for a daytime winter walk, the world-famous Baroque Garden stays open all month, excluding December 25 and 26, from 10am to 4pm daily. See statues sparkling in the frost along the Italianate Terraces, admire ancient evergreen yew hedges and look out for 'gardeners notes' which will be dotted around the garden to discover top tips for gardening at this time of year.
To plan a festive visit head to: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden
No pre-booking is required and normal admission prices apply.
‘A Treasured Christmas’ awaits visitors to Powis Castle from December 14-23.
Copyright National Trust images - Paul Harris
The importance of tourism industry collaboration and unity was emphasised by speakers at the annual meeting of an independent organisation that represents around 600 tourism and hospitality business across Mid Wales.
The impact of Welsh Government legislation on the industry was one of the main discussion points at a members’ forum which followed the annual meeting of MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism) held at Hafan yr Afon, Newtown on Tuesday.
MWT Cymru chairman Rowland Rees-Evans, chief executive Val Hawkins, MBE, and Wales Tourism Alliance chairman Suzy Davies all stressed the need for tourism and hospitality businesses to stay united.
Addressing her final annual meeting before retiring next year, Mrs Hawkins outlined MWT Cymru’s role and work, emphasising: “We are here to sell Mid Wales region as a must-visit destination.
“We are experienced at working at the interface of the private and public sectors and it’s extremely important that we build on that collaborative approach.”
She is keen to expand seasonal and themed offers to attract more visitors during 2024 when MWT Cymru will be rolling out a rewards and incentives project, funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, to support towns and communities in Powys.
Mrs Hawkins encouraged businesses to collaborate with MWT Cymru and Visit Wales to attract more international visitors to Mid Wales by offering unique experiences and to focus sharply on customer service and repeat business.
“In these uncertain times, the unity and resilience of our business community are more critical than ever,” she added. “Together, we will navigate these challenges and ensure that Mid Wales continues to shine as a leading destination.”
Mrs Davies said there were positive signs that the Welsh Government is beginning to listen to the WTA and other industry leaders’ concerns about the cumulative impact of new legislation.
The cited examples of how the WTA and others were trying to influence new legislation for the statutory regulation of accommodation providers, a proposed tourism tax and a reduction in the school summer holiday in Wales.
“We need to stand together with a united voice and avoid any sense of isolation when representing the tourism industry,” added Mrs Davies, who heads an alliance representing around 6,000 businesses in all sectors of tourism industry across Wales. “What we are doing collectively is working.”
Mr Rees-Evans thanked the WTA for its work on behalf of the tourism industry and MWT Cymru staff for keeping members “ahead of the curve” with information about Welsh Government legislation.
“Without MWT Cymru, tourism and hospitality businesses in Mid Wales would not have a voice,” he said. “We punch way above our weight in terms of the work we do on behalf of the industry and it’s really important that tourism businesses become members if they want to have an influence.”
MWT Cymru re-elected Greg Loweth, business development manager at The Metropole Hotel and Spa, Llandrindod Wells as a Powys trade director. He was joined on the board by Shane Logan, general manager of Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool.
MWT Cymru represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality operators across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia. Businesses wishing to join the not for profit, membership organisation are asked to contact Tel: 01654 702653 or email: email@example.com .
Rowland Rees-Evans, Mid Wales Tourism’s chairman.
Members of the independent tourism organisation for Mid Wales are being urged to attend the annual meeting next week when updates will be given on Welsh Government legislation for the industry.
Changes to the tax criteria for self-catering accommodation, a proposed tourism tax and statutory registration of all visitor accommodation in Wales will all be on the agenda at Mid Wales Tourism’s annual meeting at Hafan yr Afon, Newtown on Tuesday, December 5, at 11am.
Earlier this year, the Welsh Government changed the tax criteria which allows self-catering accommodation to qualify for business rates instead of council tax.
A self-catering property must now be let for a minimum of 182 days to qualify for business rates. Local authorities have the power to triple the council tax premium for accommodation that doesn’t meet the new criteria.
The Welsh Government is still consulting about introducing a tourism tax and the registration of all visitor accommodation.
Wales Tourism Alliance chairman Suzy Davies will give the latest update on the regulations while Val Hawkins, MBE, Mid Wales Tourism’s chief executive and chairman Rowland Rees-Evans will review the past year and reveal plans for 2024 at a members’ forum which follows the formal annual meeting.
“I hope that as many members as possible are able to attend the annual meeting to hear important updates, give their views and help shape the direction of Mid Wales Tourism in the coming year,” she Mrs Hawkins
Mid Wales Tourism, also known as MWT Cymru, represents more than 600 tourism and hospitality operators across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia. Businesses wishing to join the not for profit, membership organisation are asked to contact Tel: 01654 702653 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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