The Story Behind 'Moongate'
The single estate certified organic Moongate Irish Gin, named after the famous and symbolic ‘moongate’ found in the hotel’s picturesque walled garden, has been created by Highbank Orchard’s Owner and Distiller, Rod Calder-Potts, in close collaboration with John Kelly, Head Chef in Mount Juliet Estate’s Michelin Star Lady Helen Restaurant.
An Eye For Detail
A huge amount of thought, consideration and attention to detail has gone into the distilling of the bespoke commissioned gin. The handing over of the three hundred limited edition bottles to Mount Juliet Estate in the lead up to the tournament is the culmination of a full twelve months’ work for the Highbank team. The distinctive Moongate Gin is produced in what is believed to be Ireland’s smallest Still House, ‘Dodonus’ – added to the ancient Highbank Estate Dairy in 2014 – featuring eighteen selected botanicals, each one representing a different hole on the Jack Nicklaus signature design championship golf course.
Where the Magic Happens
Located just outside Kilkenny City, Highbank Organic Farm is uniquely suited to producing delicious apples because of the fertile limestone soil that nurtures its apple trees. All of the apples used to create the single estate Irish organic bespoke gin have been grown across the farm’s twenty acres of orchards, where Calder-Potts family first planted apple orchards in1969. The farm, which has been completely pesticide, herbicide and chemical free since 1986 – long before there was consumer demand for organic products – is set to produce as much as 140,000 litres of apple juice in 2021 from the eleven different varieties of apples it currently grows when the time comes to start harvesting them in August.
Visit the Farm for Yourself
From apple to bottle, partake in living the organic farming for yourself with a tractor train tour through the organic orchards, a visit to the distillery ending in their stone built 17th century mill with a sampling of the delicious Single Estate organic ciders, syrups and apple spirits. Your Guide will explain the process that creates the distinctive flavours and character of their organic cider, apple gin and apple brandy, meeting the owners for a chat on local history, and of course, the Highbank Story of five generations.
Steeped in medieval history the 17th century stonebuilt coachyard with its small distillery offers a backdrop to tasting the organic orchard syrup, juices, organic ciders and apple spirits all produces directly from the orchards.
During blossom time in May, harvest time in October and November, through to Christmas, Highbank offers an insight into a small scale Irish food producer adding value to product. Organic for over 20 years the farm is full of seasonal wildlife and visitors are welcome to bring a picnic and sit by their ecolakes.