The In the Welsh Wind Distillery.
Welsh distilleries are celebrating the announcement that Single Malt Welsh Whisky, which has been produced in Wales since 2005, is now officially protected with PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) UK GI status.
Four Welsh distilleries were part of the final application for PGI status – the result of a year on year increase in demand for Single Malt Welsh Whisky.
Each distillery involved in the PGI application has its own unique selling points when it comes to Single Malt Welsh Whisky. Mid Wales-based In the Welsh Wind Distillery is championing local barley and advocating a more sustainable approach to production.
The team at In the Welsh Wind, based near Cardigan, sources barley grown within 10 miles of the coastal distillery and use water from a bore hole on site. The distillery has pioneered an in-house malting process and uses green malt rather than kilned grain to produce its spirit.
Co-owner and director, Ellen Wakelam said: “The announcement of the Single Malt Welsh Whisky PGI status is a great milestone for us and recognises the hard work put in by all the distilleries involved.
“Not only does it place Single Malt Welsh Whisky within the wider Welsh GI family of iconic products, giving consumers an understanding of the provenance and integrity of the product they are buying, it also contributes to Food Tourism and Welsh Food Heritage, both of which are incredibly important to Wales.
“Our own ‘Welsh Origin Whisky’ sits firmly within the Single Malt Welsh Whisky PGI status. The processes we’ve developed over the last couple of years to ensure all aspects of production take place here in Wales have allowed us to reduce the amount of energy we use in our own whisky production.
“Excitingly, research we’re carrying out with the Open University suggests that our local barley and on-site malting combines to produce a whisky that will have a flavour profile unique to the area of Wales where the barley is grown.“
Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, said: “It is brilliant news Single Malt Welsh Whisky has joined the Welsh GI family with its name now protected.
“The Welsh Whisky industry continues to go from strength to strength, playing an important role in the food and drink sector here in Wales. I am very pleased for all those involved in gaining this prestigious status, ensuring this fantastic product gains the recognition and prestige it deserves.”
The UK GI scheme, established in 2021 following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, ensures that certain food and drink products can continue to receive legal protection against imitation and misuse.
This is the first new UK spirit to achieve GI status since the UK GI was launched. Single Malt Welsh Whisky is also Wales’ first GI spirit and joins the likes of Anglesey Sea Salt PDO, PGI Welsh Lamb and Welsh Leeks PGI in the Welsh GI family of products.
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