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Distillerie Pégasus 

Meeting with Maxime Girardin

Gin Orion de la distillerie Pégasus.


1/ Introduce us to the Pegasus distillery. 

I have spent most of my life since I was 18 in England where I discovered the world of fine spirits, cocktails and mixology. I came back to France in 2020 to create a spirit’s brand based on a solid product foundation but with a free hand for marketing and event planning. I found the wine world too restrictive, it would not have allowed me to express myself as much. I come from a Burgundy winegrowing family, Domaine Vincent Girardin and now Pierre Girardin, and I wanted to bring a strong terroir concept to the world of spirits, combining the idea of making consumers dream and travel while offering local products.


2/ How do nature and the terroir inspire you in the production of your gin? 

The notion of terroir and respect for nature have been at the heart of my approach from the beginning. The products are all 100% organically grown, only from France and Switzerland. I selected two family businesses, one that grows aromatic herbs in the Swiss mountains and the other in Menton for citrus fruits. In addition to the organic certification and the 100% manual harvesting, the terroirs are truly unique. In Menton, my supplier is located on terraces just above the sea, so the citrus fruits are constantly in contact with the sea spray, giving them a hint of salinity. As for the plants, they are grown at an altitude of over 1000m in the Swiss Alps. At this altitude, they suffer from cold stress in winter and spring, which causes them to produce a large number of molecules to defend themselves and survive. These molecules are the most aromatic that a plant can produce! As for the cereals, they are French. And the water comes from a 120-metre deep borehole under the distillery, at the foot of the Meursault vineyards. The water comes from an underground river that has been preserved until now and runs through the limestone that is so emblematic of Burgundy and which gives the wines their noble letters. To enhance the ingredients, I chose to use as few as possible. In addition to juniper, I have only 5 botanicals that go into the Orion composition.


Maxime Girardin

3/ What is the production process of your first Orion Premium vintage?

The process is very special for gins. First of all, the grain alcohol is distilled several times in-house to refine its quality. Then each botanical is distilled separately to obtain distillates of each ingredient. This technique allows each botanical to be respected as it will not react in the same way to the heat of the stills. Each botanical has its own distillation and maceration program at specific temperatures. This separation of distillates also allows the best distillation cuts to be chosen for each ingredient in order to extract the best and most freshness from each plant/citruse. Severe cuts ensure that there is no bitterness or vegetal sensation that would be unpleasant. Finally, the redistilled spirit is blended with the various distillates to create the Orion gin essence before being slowly reduced with water from our borehole to 43% alcohol. The reduction and stabilisation takes place over several months so that the aromatic molecules find the perfect balance between them.


4/ You use an iStill alembic, how does it differ from other stills?

These new generation stills are very versatile and incredibly precise. They can be used for the redistillation of pure alcohol thanks to their vapour reflux capacity as well as for the ultra-precise botanical distillation. In addition, the squared shape of the alembic stills allows a much better stirring than traditional round stills. Thanks to the integrated software and the large number of sensors, their precision allows the same distillation cuts to be reproduced in a very faithful and automatic manner, regardless of the atmospheric pressure of the day. This is a real revolution! Finally, they run on electricity rather than gas and are particularly energy efficient.


5/ Tell us about your eco-responsible approach.

First of all, I have chosen to work with regional/national products that have not been transported over thousands of kilometres before being brought to the distillery. Then in terms of packaging, the gin bottle has a beechwood and cork stopper, while the label is made of cotton and hemp. The new distillery, which is currently under construction, meets the most demanding environmental standards in terms of thermal insulation and general consumption. Finally, we are in the process of converting part of a family farm (a few dozen kilometres away) into a photovoltaic farm to ensure that 100% of the energy used for the Pegasus products is of local and renewable origin.

Interview by par Sandy Bénard-Ravoisier



The distillery’s range will be enriched with two new products in the autumn:
a citrus liqueur whose unique recipe was developed for the Versailles court
during the reign of Louis XIV and an organic and French vodka
with a unique drinkability and sweetness.