Cathleen Connole opened a fine food and wine shop on Corkscrew Hill, just outside the town of Ballyvaughan in Co Clare in 1999. She is a founding member of the Burren Eco Tourism network and she grows a lot of the foods she sells herself. She is dedicated to promoting the regions foods and the region itself as a premier destination for sustainable tourism.
Her son John came into the business with her and he originally developed a gin for the family to sell called Connotions. It was a real citrus based gin he says, but it lacked the real provenance and local botanicals that his customers asked for time and time again. He set about creating the first gin from Co Clare and the idea for Pinnacle Burren Gin was born. ‘My customers kept asking me for a Burren Gin and there was none available, so I decided to change that, using as much of the village of Ballyvaughan as I could in the process’
Firstly, Pinnacle is a well in the village of Ballyvaughan. John spent the first six months of lockdown collecting botanicals from in and around the seaside town and creating different recipes to see what flavours would work best. He enlisted local artist Manus Walsh from the town to work on the artwork for the bottle and so the project came together by middle of 2021. Pinnacle Burren Gin is now sold in most of the local bars, and in the family shop in Ballyvaughan, and we are delighted to support the Connoles by announcing that it will also now be available permanently at WineOnline.ie as well ongoing.
Cathleen grows beetroot on the family farm, and she wanted us to bring you some of her own Beetroot chutney too. We decided to pair it with a cheeseboard this month, so we set about tasting cheeses that would match – a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it! Knockanore smoked cheddar cheese is Irish, and while not from the Burren, it is a great match here. It is made by Eamon And Patricia Lonergan in Co Waterford. It is creamy and rich, a perfect fit for beetroot chutney. With some Sheridans crackers to complement, we’re delighted with this all Irish box this May. We are going quite further afield in June’s gin box but no giveaway secrets just yet – keep an eye on our socials and you’ll find out soon!
Juniper, Meadowsweet, Kelp, Rowan Berries, Pink Peppercorns, Cornflower, Elderflower, Heather, Dandelion, Rosemary & Hibiscus