Priory Vodka is a potato vodka, which is nurtured from seed to bottle by David Rawlings (pictured) on the Priory Farm nestled between Tadcaster and Wetherby in beautiful North Yorkshire.
We’re proud to say that our ingredients don’t need to travel far when we’re producing our vodka; the potatoes come straight from our fields, and the fresh local spring water only makes a short journey 13 miles down the road to get to us. We’re mindful of the environmental responsibilities we have as a fully functional working farm, and minimising food waste, along with a mindful approach to sourcing other ingredients nearby, has helped form our principle led approach to our production.
We’ve all seen the news about pointless food waste in food production recently. On our farm, we’ve grown potatoes amongst other crops for many years. As a potato supplier to some big retailers and restaurants, we’ve always wondered how to best use perfectly acceptable surplus produce which isn’t taken by these clients; short of ploughing it back into the ground.
As these questions arose, it was a happy coincidence that a Polish man, Eric, and his family came to live and work on the farm. Eric, who used to help his granddad produce alcohol in Poland, famously maintains that the Polish make vodka ‘better than the Russians’, so we decided to put his boasting to task, and look into making a vodka on the farm. Two years later, we’re happy to say that we’ve arrived at a product which has already earned some amazing accolades in it’s short lifetime – two Gold awards for the micro distillery and ultra premium categories at the Vodka Masters awards in 2017.
We’ve always thought there was something special about using produce we’ve grown, using skills passed down from friends and family, to make a product that tastes fantastic and is produced with these important principles in mind; minimising waste, and squeezing every last drop out of what we produce; all while minimising our environmental footprint along the way.
When we’ve used the potatoes for the vodka, we feed the potato skins to our livestock, and we even power our distilling tower from the sun that beats down (if we’re lucky!) on the farm’s solar panels. Ultimately, we think it’s always going to be easier to enjoy a tipple which is responsibly made and lovingly produced, and that’s why it’ll always be special to us, and special to the people who enjoy it too.