LORD Margadale has given the green light to the Wiltshire Whisky Distillery Company to develop a world-class single-estate spirits distillery on his picturesque Fonthill Estate near Fonthill Gifford.

The team of industry experts behind the venture is being led by chief executive officer Alistair Munro and includes Alasdair 'Eddie' Large and Jon Carson.

They are presently engaged in fundraising £3 million to begin distillation towards the end of 2021 with the release of the Distillery’s first spirits in early 2022.

Mr Munro said: “It is a dream realised to be building our distillery within such a culturally significant estate as Fonthill.

"Not only does it provide a rich backdrop for the development of our uniquely British brand, but it also enables us to achieve our ambition of creating a highly sustainable, single-estate offering.

"We will assess every business, brewing and distilling decision in terms of environmental impact, local provenance and sustainability.”

Co-founder Alasdair Large, an award-winning brewer, will produce the beer wash that forms the basis of the whiskies.

He said: “Fonthill sits in

the heart of the premium barley growing and malting region of England.

"The matching of Fonthill water,

the grains, the yeast, and our fermenting process, combined with the unique Fonthill terroir, will allow us to produce the highest quality beer wash to feed our copper stills.

"The synergy in the crafts of brewing and premium whisky distillation will sit perfectly together in our distillery.”

Jon Carson, head of sales, has extensive experience in the field of experiential and direct-to-consumer marketing.

Mr Carson said: “Our team possesses the know-how, passion and tenacity to deliver a best in class, sustainably-sourced whisky brand which will both celebrate the uniqueness of Wiltshire whilst sitting proudly on an international stage.”

The management are supported by an enviable advisory panel of industry heavy hitters with experience across all aspects of the whisky business including:

• James Espey OBE - awarded an OBE for Services to the Whisky Industry in 2013; instrumental in creating and building a multitude of brands including Chivas Regal 18, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and The Classic Malts; co-creator and past Chairman of The Keepers of The Quaich.

• Alan Rutherford OBE - former Production Director at Diageo and past Chairman of The Lakes Distillery; currently Chairman of the Compass Box Whisky Co.

• Colin Scott – ambassador and Master Blender at Chivas Brothers for 47 years; now Master Blender and Advisor to The Last Drop Distillers.

• Antonia Jamison - advisor to several early-stage drinks brands including Celsius Rum Distillery and Fishers Gin and a founding director of Sipsmith.

The world whisky market is in an exceptionally dynamic period and within it English whisky has a unique position drawing on a powerful twin legacy of gin distilling and craft-beer creation.

In fewer than 15 years, a growing number of excellent English whiskies have achieved distribution in more than 40 countries, and demand for brands which encapsulate the ‘best of British’ is accelerating.

The Wiltshire Whisky Distillery Company has an initial capacity for 700,000 bottles rising to three million bottles within seven years, making it one of the largest distilleries in England and with the size to become an important player on the global stage.

Lord Margadale, owner of Fonthill and a sister estate on the world-renowned whisky isle of Islay, is no stranger to the importance of provenance within whisky.

He said: “We look generations ahead with all our plans for the Fonthill Estate and could immediately see that our long-term ambitions and values fit perfectly with those of The Wiltshire Whisky team.”

Important to the distillery will be the local and regional communities of Wiltshire and the company expects to offer several employment opportunities across all areas of the business as well as selling other craft Wiltshire goods from its onsite shop.

In addition to making whisky the distillery will also produce a range of gins and botanical spirits.