Emma Watson Launches A Sustainable Gin Brand With Her Brother

The actress and her sibling, Alex Watson, are returning to their family’s viticulture roots through the release of a premium gin made from grape skin. 

While actress and activist Emma Watson took a break from the limelight since her appearance in Greta Gerwig’s hit adaptation of Little Women in 2019, she’s been keeping busy with new and exciting personal projects. Among them is a venture into the spirit industry in partnership with her brother, Alex.

The Watson siblings have recently released a premium gin called Renais—a word that means “rebirth.” It’s an apt name, as the spirit redefines the traditional gin through sustainable and innovative ingredients.         

Emma Watson Renais Gin
Photo via Instagram @renaisspirits

Unlike other spirits of its kind, Renais’ base is made of pressed grand cru grape skins from the vineyards of Chablis in Burgundy, France. It has a distinctive flavor, with floral, citrus, and even mineral-like notes (due to the Kimmeridgian limestone that enriches the soil of the land).  

The unique beverage can be served in a number of ways, from classic gin and tonics to deeply flavorful Negronis. 

Emma Watson Renais Gin
Photo via Instagram @renaisspirits

“It certainly isn’t the easiest way to go about making a gin,” shared Alex during a product launch event. “I wanted to do something that no one had ever done: to capture the essence of a specific terroir, the uniqueness of Chablis, by drawing on the traditions, techniques and ingredients from the land, and embodying those characteristics in a gin.”

A Family Trade

Although this is Emma’s first foray into the world of spirits, she’s no stranger to the art of crafting premium alcoholic beverages. Her father, Chris, is an oenophile who’s been in the business of viticulture for roughly three decades. The 65-year-old is a successful city lawyer and francophile who purchased his first vineyard in Chablis in 1991. Meanwhile, her brother Alex has spent a decade working in the beverage industry. 

Alex Watson Renais Gin
Alex Watson, the mastermind behind Renais/Photo via Instagram @renaisspirits

The family runs Domaine Watson, which consists of seven vineyards spanning five hectares in total. Despite having been raised in the UK, the Watson siblings spent a good chunk of their childhood in France (their place of birth), and have been visiting Chablis annually for years. 

“What I really love is the culture here of the harvest. I like coming together with everyone. I like the rituals around it and the history and the connection with the people here,” shared Emma with the Financial Times. “For me it’s about family and community and it makes me feel grounded that there’s somewhere I can come back to, year after year after year.”

A Sustainable Spirit

Grape skins are usually discarded during the winemaking process, which is exactly why the Watson siblings wanted to create a drink that would upcycle the skins sourced from different vineyards, including those of their father. 

Besides breathing new life into what would otherwise be an unused byproduct of the winemaking process, the siblings also utilized solar-powered stills in making the special gin. 

Emma Watson Renais Gin
A peek at the process of bottling Renais/Photo via Instagram @renaisspirits

What’s more, Renais’ production processes are certified carbon-neutral, as per their official website. Any offsetting carbon emissions were powered through wind farms in India through Climate Partner

Renais is also the only gin in the market that utilizes completely biodegradable mushroom packaging, further reducing its carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment. 

Emma Watson Renais Gin
Renais’ biodegradable mushroom packaging/Photo via Instagram @renaisspirits

The gin is currently being sold in the UK and the brand’s website in a limited special release consisting of 3,500 bottles. The next batch is set to be released in June.

Banner photo from Renais’ official website.

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