Sunshine & Sons, a Sunshine Coast distillery, has taken out gold for Australia in the highly coveted World Vodka Awards. Vodkas from over 20 countries were put to the test with ‘new world’ drops up-staging traditional producing countries like Poland, Sweden and Canada.
An expert panel had the tough job of testing vodkas in four categories: pure neutral, varietal, botanical and flavoured. Globally, 38 country winners have been selected and will undertake additional judging and compete to be deemed the World’s best – including Sunshine & Sons Original Vodka. The results will be announced on 20 February.
“From our humble beginnings distilling spirits on the Sunshine Coast, we are thrilled to be on the world stage alongside the world’s best distilleries from South Africa to Scotland,” said Matt Hobson, Founder of Sunshine & Sons.
“Our Original Vodka is one of less than five per cent of vodkas globally that are produced from grapes giving a soft, spongy and velvety texture that is unmistakably premium in comparison to traditional grain, sugar cane and potato vodkas. Combine this with our uniquely local filtration system, using millennia old volcanic rock from the Sunshine Coast, gives our vodka a beautiful minerality that can be comfortably described as a floral pepperiness,” he added.
Veronika Karlova, Chair of Judges for the World Vodka Awards, said: “Today’s approach to vodka production has taken a new turn. Forget the traditional perception of vodka as tasteless and boring – it’s anything but plain and flavourless. Producers really pay attention to ingredients and focus on how to retain the character of raw material in vodka.”
The accolade is a further boost for Hobson and his team, who are celebrating 12 months since launching their innovative pouches of spirits onboard Australia’s newest airline, Bonza. Sunshine & Sons Original Vodka is amongst one of the most popular drink choices on the airline’s all Aussie menu.
“We know Aussie consumers love to support local, and the success of Bonza’s 100 per cent Australian menu is proof of that, along with our popularity with retailers and surf clubs,” said Hobson.
The now award winning vodka is available nationally and is the number one seller at popular surf clubs on the Sunshine Coast and is a popular choice for discerning customers at liquor retailers – led in numbers by Noosa Dan Murphys
“The award is a great way to start 2024 as we double down on export markets this year. In March, we will join Austrade in London, and we’ll be working with our distributors to increase our presence globally. We’re also working closely with Visit Sunshine Coast and the Food and Agriculture Network to shine a light on the food and agritourism sector here on the Coast – both to a national and international audience,” said Hobson.
The World Vodka Awards country winners will now go on to compete against each other for the title of World’s Best in each category. The results of this final leg of the competition will be announced on 20 February.