Distillery No. 209 really begins when William Scheffler bought a patent for a new design of pot still in New York in 1870. He decided to make the journey west, where the fading glitter of the Gold Rush had brought together a clash of cultures struggling for survival in a country still mending from a civil war. In time Scheffler set up a distillery at Krug winery in St. Helena, California.
In 1880 he purchased his own winery in St. Helena called Edge Hill. It was one of the most impressive of its time but Scheffler made his real mark in Napa Valley by building his new distillery on the Edge Hill property. During Sheffler's time the Federal Government licensed distillery registration by number only and in 1882 his distillery was given the number '209'. His spirits received various awards including a medal for his efforts in the Grand Exposition in Paris in 1889.
Flash forward a century to entrepreneur Leslie Rudd's purchase of his own winery in St. Helena called Edge Hill, also looking to leave his own mark in Napa Valley. A few weeks after his purchase, Leslie found a curious hay barn with the faded words and emblem that read - Registered Distillery 209 - still legible across the front. Sometimes fate has a way of finding you.
In September 2004 the 1889 French medal turned up on an auction site and after more than a century this medal is back at Distillery No. 209, reminding us of the timeless standards our gin lives up to in the past, present, and future.