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NORGIN: Where family comes first

by Anastasia Hartleib
NORGIN: Wo die Familie im Vordergrund steht

If you take a closer look at the gins in the NORGIN store, you'll see that they contain everything you love about the craft scene. High-quality spirits that are produced in small batches with hand-picked botanicals and great attention to detail. But NORGIN also stands for something else. Something that has nothing to do with the spirits themselves, but nevertheless has a pretty big influence on them. NORGIN stands for family.

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The story of NORGIN is set in beautiful Nordenham, a lovely little town right on the Weser estuary. Dirk, Birthe and Daryn Vowinkel live here. The three are not only a harmonious parent and son team, but also enthusiastic gin lovers. Every now and then, the family gets together for cozy evenings of tasting - and occasionally dreaming of their own gin.

After son Daryn gives his father a DIY brewing kit one Christmas - and the results taste pretty good - the family is hooked. They try out more beer brews and even bring 30-liter barrels home so that they can experiment better.

Daryn, Birthe & Dirk Vowinkel sind die Gründungsfamilie von NORGIN.
Daryn, Birthe & Dirk Vowinkel are the founding family of NORGIN.

After the Vowinkels had pursued their brewing hobby for a few years, Birhte thought to herself: 'If it works so well with beer, it must work with gin too. She chooses the same path as her son Daryn and surprises Dirk with a special gift: a gin seminar. The two northern lights travel to faraway Austria to distil their own bottle of gin under the guidance of the master distiller at a small distillation plant.

On their way to Austria with a special ingredient

But Dirk and Birthe don't just want to throw any ingredients into the still and see what happens. They want to capture the taste of their homeland - and are therefore traveling to Austria with a special ingredient in their luggage: the Queller.

Queller, also known as sea asparagus, has been with the family for ages. On countless walks with their dog Piotr, the Vowinkels have repeatedly passed the salt marshes in Langwarder Groden, a nature reserve in the middle of the Wadden Sea. This exciting plant grows there, which not only survives the harsh climate on the North Sea coast, but also ends up on the plates of local restaurants from time to time. So why not add it to gin?

Der Queller wächst auf den Salzwiesen der Nordsee - und landet als Seespargel auch häufig auf den Tellern der örtlichen Restaurants.
Sea samphire grows on the salt marshes of the North Sea - and often ends up on the plates of local restaurants as sea asparagus.

And so it is that the sea asparagus makes the long journey to the Austrian distillery together with the Vowinkels. The distiller there shows interest and tinkers with the recipe with Dirk and Birthe while giving them tips and looking over their shoulders. The result tastes so good that the master distiller says: "If you don't put the gin on the market, I will." Dirk Vowinkel doesn't need to be told that twice. Within six months, he looks for a suitable distillery in the north and prepares everything else. The first NORGIN bottle is bottled in 2018.

From hobby to family business

What began as a family hobby is now a genuine family business. Birthe was the first to give up her job as the manager of a cosmetics store in order to concentrate fully on NORGIN. Son Daryn helped out here and there, enjoying the enthusiasm with which his parents drove this project forward - and created his very own gin for the first time in 2020 with Cherry Mint. Two years later, he joined the family business full-time and left his job in the social sector behind. Father Dirk, who worked as a graduate engineer until the beginning of 2023, is now enjoying his semi-retirement, which he can now spend with his family at NORGIN.

Das Sortiment von NORGIN wächst weiter. So gibt es jetzt auch einen Gin, der mit nordatlantischem Tiefmeerwasser hergestellt wird.
The NORGIN range continues to grow. There is now also a gin made with North Atlantic deep sea water.

Since the first gin five years ago, the NORGIN range has continued to grow. In addition to the classic, some special creations have been added: the aforementioned Cherry Mint Gin, created by Daryn, an Orange & Almond Gin, which scores particularly well in winter with its interplay of orange and marzipan tones. Or the NORGIN Salty, which is made with deep sea water from an untouched icy ocean current in the North Atlantic.

The loving and familial cohesion that characterizes NORGIN also ensures that the Vowinkels always have room for new ideas - and never stop dreaming. The next big idea to be realized is their own distillery at home. At present, the NORGIN creations are still distilled in the Schwechow fruit distillery in the Elbe valley in Mecklenburg. But anyone who knows the Vowinkel family knows that this dream will not remain a dream for long. Because together, as the history of NORGIN shows, they can do pretty much anything.

Matching products to the article

NORGIN Orange & Almond - Distilled Dry Gin
36,00 (€72,00 per l)
NORGIN Cherry & Mint - Distilled Dry Gin
36,00 (€72,00 per l)
NORGIN Salty "Unfiltered" - Sea Salt Gin
48,00 (€96,00 per l)
NORGIN Barrel Aged Gin
53,00 (€106,00 per l)
NORGIN Premium Egg Liqueur with Orange & Almond Gin
22,50 (€45,00 per l)

About the autor:

Anastasia Hartleib

Anastasia Hartleib

Katalog & Marketing Managerin

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Für mich geht nichts über das Entdecken kleiner Manufakturen. Ob das der Micro Craft Brauer aus Bayern oder die sächsische Brennerei ist, die es bereits seit Jahrzehnten gibt - hauptsache klein, regional verwurzelt und mit Sinn für's Handwerk!

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