Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Distillers and winemakers do their bit in tough times

Canberra’s most awarded premium spirits brand, Underground Spirits, has halted all production of all spirits to focus solely on production of hand sanitiser for use by front-line medical staff in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Last week we completely stopped production of our gin and vodka to dedicate our distillery 100% to the production of hand sanitiser,” said Underground Spirits’ owner and head distiller Dr Toby Angstmann.



“We are working with the ACT Government and other organisations to ensure that front-line medical staff are serviced during this critical time as shortages are apparent. Our sanitiser is going to health carers who need it most including GPs, doctors, nurses, theatre staff, Emergency Services ACT and all health services.

“In the last week we have made and transported out over 5600 litres."

Canberra District wineries have been supplying wine which is then distilled and turned into the 70% alcohol sanitiser – turning wine, spirits and beer into potentially life-saving hand sanitiser.

In the Riverina, Calabria Family Wines is diverting its resources from winemaking to care packages and hand sanitiser in an effort to help those in need.

Calabria Family Wines will roll out individually packed ‘Calabria Care Boxes’ to vulnerable seniors in the Griffith region who have been affected by the pandemic.

Additionally, the Calabria Family has reallocated grape spirit resources destined for its tawny and muscat wines to instead create bulk hand sanitiser to donate to local health centres and hospitals.

In total, the family has sourced enough supply for 200 individual care packages and more than 5,000 two-lire units of liquid sanitiser. 

“In Calabria Family Wines’ 75-year history, we’ve been extremely fortunate to have the support of the Riverina community,” third-generation sales & marketing manager Andrew Calabria said.

“It’s devastating to see the toll the pandemic has had on the region, especially for those heading to the shops finding it difficult or impossible to purchase the things they need.

“The community has always been there for us, now it’s our turn to return the favour."

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