About Prenzel

Club Prenzel is the main public face of Marlborough’s Prenzel Distilling Company Limited. The distilling company is an International award winning fruit distillery, which has specialised in combining European tradition with New Zealand's vibrant flavours, to create unique and exquisite food and beverage products. Prenzel's wide range of products encompasses fruit brandies, limited edition liqueurs, schnapps, infused rice bran oils and sea salts, gourmet vinegars and much more. Prenzel also has a food service department producing Australasia's largest range of natural culinary concentrates and gels for the hospitality and food manufacturing sectors.

Our Story In 1989, Robert Wuest visited Hugh and Chris Steadman at their cherry orchard on the outskirts of Blenheim in Marlborough. Robert came from an old distilling family in Alsace in Eastern France, a region famed for its eaux-de-vie (“fruit brandies.”) Amongst the cherry blossoms an idea came to him. In Alsace, small mobile stills had been a traditional part of village life for many generations. After World War II, in an attempt to simplify the collection of duties on alcohol, the French government outlawed these artisanal stills. Those that escaped destruction went into hiding. Alouette, as she was to become known, was one such political fugitive. Discovered cowering in a widow's cellar in Mulhouse, she was smuggled across the Swiss border and then shipped to NZ, where in honour of her beautiful curves and her French origin she was named ning a Kiwi apprentice who later followed him back to Alsace for further training.

The results were promising. Marlborough's high sunshine hours along with the unpolluted skies and vigorous soils, offered the potential to produce fruit brandies of exceptional quality. This finding was confirmed four years later with a gold medal won by Prenzel’s Pear William brandy at Destillata, the world’s largest artisanal fruit brandy competition, which is held annually in Austria. The Alsace New Zealand Distilling Company Ltd. was subsequently registered in Blenheim in 1992 as New Zealand's first commercial fruit brandy distillery. At this stage of the company's development, it was dedicated to the production of a wide range of fruit brandies, tipsy cherries and Waterloo Gin.

Re-branded as the Prenzel Distilling Co. Ltd. in 1994, the company grew large enough to look seriously at its distribution network. The beverage range was initially sold through wholesalers and retail liquor outlets, but the “experience” of Prenzel products could not be passed on to the customer using these traditional sales avenues. Blind tastings with other market leaders against the Prenzel equivalent in the distillery’s own tasting room showed that Prenzel products were always preferred: but how could they be brought to people’s attention?

The answer was Prenzel Direct. Born in 1997 it quickly became a vital marketing and sales arm of its parent company. As an alcoholic version of the time-honoured party plan concept, Prenzel guests around the country were soon enjoying an in-home opportunity to taste before purchasing. At the same time, to help provide a social balance between beverage and food at the parties, Prenzel introduced items such as infused olive oils that were designed for the kitchen, rather than for the drinks cupboard. Prenzel is now as well known for its food items as it is for its beverages.

In April 2014, the details of Club Prenzel were agreed on; to be implemented as from 1st June 2014. As a natural extension of the Prenzel Pantry operation, Club Prenzel deploys the latest software developments to efficiently allow for the Prenzel Distilling Company’s marketing budget, instead of being pocketed by media corporates, to be distributed among all Club members, who help spread the word about the delights available from the Club’s webshop. Below, is Prenzel’s mission statement as formulated more than twenty years ago. It remains unchanged and is a mission that Club members will carry forward. The Prenzel Mission is to supply a wide customer base with a range of high quality products and services that contribute to their enjoyment of life: relaxed fun, happy social interaction and good health. Old World of Europe we followed the stars of the Southern Cross to the New. In Aotearoa, with an old French still, we began a potent alchemy transforming the tastes and scents of this country's fruits and flavours into exquisite brandies, liqueurs and culinary delights, using essential flavours from a vibrant new world.

Taste it! This is the taste of a journey and discovery and of life lived well. Share it with us.





The story of Club Prenzel

Using these same vibrant flavours, Club Prenzel is our way of sharing our discoveries with the whole of New Zealand. One day, Club Prenzel will expand beyond our shores, taking the rest of the world by storm.


The Founders

Prenzel is a 100% owned New Zealand company, founded by Hugh and Chris Steadman when they distilled their first Marlborough fruit in their garage in Blenheim (and with their first still explosion, burnt through their garage roof!) Their technique has somewhat improved since then, to produce amongst New Zealand's most flavoursome products for the bar and for the kitchen.




© 2018