Kerik­eri lemons the ‘se­cret’

The Northland Age - - Local News -

A com­monly per­ceived lack of in­vest­ment in the Far North over­looks what some peo­ple are do­ing, and the in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion they are achiev­ing.

So says An­drea Log­gia, and he knows what he’s talk­ing about.

As a “wor­thy ex­am­ple” of such suc­cess, he cited the Sovrano Li­mon­cello that he and his fam­ily man­u­fac­ture at Skud­der’s Beach, near Kerik­eri, which had added two more ma­jor in­ter­na­tional awards to its al­ready im­pres­sive col­lec­tion.

The fam­ily’s Cream Li­mon­cello won gold and was named best buy at the In­ter­na­tional Bev­er­age In­sti­tute Chicago com­pe­ti­tion, while the orig­i­nal li­mon­cello also won gold and was the toprated ex­am­ple of the Ital­ian liqueur in the com­pe­ti­tion.

The awards added to a long his­tory of suc­cess that be­gan in 2010, when the com­pany won its first gold medal from the Test­ing In­sti­tute in Chicago, scor­ing 95 points out of 100 with its ‘95 Li­mon­cello and ‘94 Cream Li­mon­cello. Since then it has amassed 20 awards from in­ter­na­tion­al­lyrecog­nised tast­ing com­pe­ti­tions in Chicago, San Fran­cisco, Lon­don and Florida, es­sen­tially beat­ing home­based Ital­ians at what Mr Log­gia de­scribed as “their own re­spectable game”.

The full list of awards can be seen at www.li­mon­cello. co.nz.

The key to that suc­cess, which was hardly a se­cret, was Kerik­eri lemons, which were ideal for mak­ing su­pe­rior li­mon­cello.

“It’s this, as much as the fam­ily recipe we use in the man­u­fac­ture of the prod­uct, that has con­trib­uted to our con­sid­er­able com­pe­ti­tion suc­cess rate,” Mr Log­gia said.

Mr Log­gia and his wife Marzia, and their sons Paolo and Stefano, ar­rived in Kerik­eri from Mi­lan in 2007. Their daugh­ter, Iz­abella, was born in New Zealand six years ago. And in es­tab­lish­ing Sovrano Li­mon­cello, they were con­tin­u­ing a Log­gia fam­ily tra­di­tion of liqueur­mak­ing.

“Hav­ing tasted hun­dreds of limon­cel­los, we knew the im­por­tance of us­ing fresh, per­fect in­gre­di­ents, and that’s what Kerik­eri lemons pro­vide. The se­cret of li­mon­cello must be in the pun­gent af­ter-taste,” Mr Log­gia said.

They be­gan by sell­ing their liqueur at mar­kets and lo­cal trade shows, but now it is on shelves around New Zealand, and is ex­ported to Aus­tralia, the United States and China. The range has grown too, now in­clud­ing Orig­i­nal and Cream Li­mon­cello, Orangello and Orangello Cream, Caf­fe­lisir (a cof­fee liqueur), choco­late liqueur, wal­nut liqueur and vodka.

Plans for the fu­ture in­clude ex­pand­ing the or­chards and the li­mon­cello fa­cil­ity and pro­duc­tion ca­pa­bil­ity, with new equip­ment due to ar­rive over the next few weeks and months.

“We need to keep the qual­ity stan­dards at the high­est level,” Mr Log­gia said, “and as we reach more for­eign mar­kets we will em­ploy two or three more staff to help us keep pro­duc­tive.”

PIC­TURE / PETER DE GRAAF

Paolo (left) and An­drea Log­gia have no doubt about the key to their Sovrano li­mon­cello’s global suc­cess.

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