Puhoi Organic Distillery
By Alex Kirichuk
By now Puhoi Organic Distillery has become a recognized boutique niche brand created by Kirichuk family, based solely on the internal family’s knowledge, skills and resources. Despite the miniature size of the Distillery team, operated by only three family members, the Distillery’s range amazes the connoisseurs both with the number of the products, and with the unobtainable level of their bespoke quality.
Our efforts helped to position the small sleepy New Zealand village of Puhoi as a major attraction for the world’s experts in the area of elite alcohol. The best proof of this is the May 2019 publication by Lonely Planet titled ‘Global Distillery Tour’:“If you’re after a genuinely boutique experience, this distillery should top your list”, says the world’s most trusted tour guide about Puhoi Organic Distillery. Such high evaluation proves that the Strategic ‘Mission Impossible’ idea composed in 2004 by three highly skilled Ukrainian immigrants was successfully realized in New Zealand, the best country for such daring innovative beginnings.
The Puhoi Organic Distillery’s statement: “We apply the curative power of Mother Nature to bring happiness and wellbeing to people and leave only green footprints on the Planet” reflects the family’s business philosophy and the revolutionary technological concept invented by the family.
Nowadays aggressive marketing degraded perception of alcohol to the “inevitable evil” status. This is despite of the fact that only recently it was (and sometimes still remains) the core ingredient of the majority of effective and commonly used remedies. The driving forces behind this rapid degradation were giant pharmaceutical companies and the greedy unscrupulous manufacturers of the cheap & nasty booze. Puhoi Organic Distillery’s team strongly objects to this “inevitable evil” tendency, and does not want to be a part of this dirty game, therefore a multi-stage innovative approach has been adopted to reverse these sad and unhealthy trends. As one of the victorious results, the Art & Science of Enotherapy (treatment by alcohol-based remedies) was revived by our team in the 21st century in Kiwiland.
Our Strategic “Mission Impossible” plan, formulated in 2004, included creation of Enotherapy R&D laboratory, which would provide home occupation for the whole family. At the same time our activity was required to be 100% environmentally friendly and sustainable for our family team, working there, and for the environment of the historic Puhoi village.
The key persons responsible for the success of the Strategic “Mission Impossible” plan realisation are husband and wife, Alex and Iryna Kirichuk.
Alex Kirichuk is a celebrated Master Distiller, who graduated as a Nuclear Power Engineer in the USSR (thank God, a totally useless qualification in NZ), and then re-applied his unique set of skills and knowledge to the invention of revolutionising, cutting edge eco-friendly distillation technologies and equipment here in New Zealand. Alex has been recognised as a guru in the art of distillation internationally, and his advice has been sought by the professionals from New Zealand, Australia, USA, Japan, China, Philippines, Ukraine, Russia, etc.
Alex would be destined to die after Chernobyl disaster in 1986, due to the cruel communist system of the USSR which deployed Alex and his colleagues to deal with the nuclear power incident. However, his wife Dr Iryna Kirichuk (MD), had different plans, and used her knowledge and skills to save the life of the future Master Distiller.
Dr Iryna Kirichuk (MD), presently is the world’s only expert in Enotherapy practicing in New Zealand. She transforms more than 30 years of her medical experience (specializing in Cardiology) into the unique formulations of functional beverages according to the Science of Enotherapy, which are handcrafted by Puhoi Organic Distillery. Dr Kirichuk (MD) is also one of the top international experts in the fields of Natural Adaptogens, herbal medicine, bee products and other natural methods of treatment.
The second generation of the family team is represented by Victoria Kirichuk, Master Distiller Junior & the in-house Perfumer, with the background in Business & Management, who, as a polyglot (speaks five languages) runs our PR.
Even such talented team required eleven challenging long years of non-commercial R&D activity in order to open Puhoi Organic Distillery’s boutique workshop in October 2015, the result of which were the following innovative achievements:
- A unique all-natural recipe range developed
- Unique equipment designed and custom-made locally
- Revolutionizing technologies created, tested and approved
- Multiple required licenses, certificates and permits obtained from Auckland Council and NZ Customs
- Eco-friendly, solar-powered workshop built on the Kirichuk family property, equipped with all the necessary modern engineering systems (own deep artesian water bore, communications, Wi-Fi, hard-surface driveway and spatial visitor parking, certified kitchen, septic and after-septic irrigation field, gravity cooling system, CCTV, etc).
- Packaging design and brand elements developed in-house (brands, logos, labels, styling, art photos, etc.) by the family team
- Intellectual Property protection implemented by the family team (13 Trade Marks registered with IPONZ) without extrinsic help
- Company website/online store www.spirits.net.nz designed, developed and run by the family team without extrinsic IT help
- Strong networks with the direct suppliers of ingredients, packaging, etc. established without mediators and middlemen
- Multi-stage 5-year Strategic Plan developed for 2015-2020 years. The Strategic Plan is based on the self-sufficiency and internal family financial, labour and intellectual resources
In October 2015 the commercial Distillery’s workshop was open on the family’s residential property at 9 Saleyards Road, Puhoi. Our family team adhered to the Strategic Plan, the success of which has been proved by the following achievements:
- In 2016 our customer list was enriched by such distinguished customers as Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Giraffe restaurant by Simon Gault, Wharekauhau Lodge, and others.
- In 2017 Puhoi Organic Distillery became a Finalist in the Best Emerging Business category, Westpac Awards.
2018 Puhoi Organic Distillery was awarded with two significant
1) People’s Choice Award, Westpac Awards
2) Best Artisan Spirit with Artisan Food&Beverage Awards powered by Massey University
- Named by Lonely Planet as the “top of the list boutique distillery worldwide”
As of today, Puhoi Organic Distillery has received not only an unimpeachable recognition as the craft manufacturer of ‘unobtainable’ level of spirits and other fine products, but also became an educational Enotherapy centre and the only Distillery in Auckland open for tourists.
According our company’s policy, we chose not to supply to the mainstream liquor stores. Therefore, our products are showcased only with the high-end, highly reputable merchants such as Smith&Caugheys and Fine Wine Delivery Co.
Currently Puhoi Organic Distillery is at the final stage of our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, which includes export development. The multiple International Spirits’ Competitions’ Awards and the initial successful steps of export to Australia and UK have encouraged our planning of further export development to other countries such as China, Japan, Singapore, etc. The successful realization of our initial Strategic Plan enabled us to commence early work on our next, 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.