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Q&A with Old Packhouse: Mark Dando


From April until June 2023, Gin School at Indaba Hotel have the amazing Old Packhouse Distillery in the sensorium for tantalising tastings and fun foodie pairings. We love the story behind this gin as well as the smoothness, purity and refreshing nature of their range of gins, so we had some burning

questions for Old Packhouse Distillery's founder, March Dando. We sat down with Mark recently to take a deep dive into his mind and find out what makes him tick, especially regarding his incredible gins.

What do you love most about gin?

It is a versatile drink, very refreshing that can be enjoyed in so many ways. It can be used in cocktails and with a whole range of mixers besides the traditional Indian tonic.

Which flavour of Old Packhouse Distillery Gin is the most popular?

Crystal gin is our most popular gin as it is an extremely smooth and extraordinary classic gin.

Any plans for Old Packhouse Distillery in the future

We are hoping to expand our international client base and spread our incredible gins around the world.

What is your best way to enjoy Old Packhouse Gin? ? 

The best way in, our opinion, to enjoy our gins is to keep it simple. We like Schweppes tonic and straightforward garnishes. For example, with Valencia gin, we would garnish with orange and with Mandarin gin we would garnish with a slice or triangle of mandarin to encourage those notes.


When was Old Packhouse Distillery established?

Old Packhouse Distillery was established in 2017 after we found our perfect recipe and shared our delicious creations with friends.

Why gin and not a different spirit?

We actually used to make rum as a hobby and then when the gin craze commenced, we were challenged to make some. For three months we made the most awful gin! After changing recipes and distilling equipment it all came together and we made an awesome gin. However, at this point we were doing it only for fun. Our gin quickly became popular amongst our friends and then their friends and we were almost forced into commercialising our hobby.

Who are the people behind this delicious gin?

This is a family business so it is myself (Mark Dando) and my accountant wife Sheena, my sister Karin, the artist and label designer, as well as her husband Gunter, the Stillmaster.

What was the inspiration behind the flavours and what makes Old Packhouse Gin different from the rest?

The inspiration behind the flavours was the beautiful agricultural area that surrounds us. The area produces a myriad of wonderful produce, and therein lies the crux of the matter. We use only fresh produce to produce the flavours that we have. Blueberry, Valencia oranges, Mandarin, Dragonfruit, and Moringa. I think the methodology in our manufacturing is what sets us apart from the other manufacturers. We are based in the hub of fresh produce in an old agricultural Packhouse (hence the name) and have partnerships with the farmers that produce the fruits in our gins.

If you haven't yet had the chance to taste and enjoy this beautiful gin, make sure to book your spot in one of our Gin Tastings, Gin & Chocolate Pairings, or Gin Making Masterclasses before the end of June 2023. You will not be disappointed! We also have the full Old Packhouse Gin Range on sale in our Gin Sensorium for you to take home and enjoy.

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Just north of the fast paced business world of Sandton, Johannesburg lies the Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre nestled beneath the vista of the magnificent Magaliesberg Mountains.
It is a compelling blend of business-like convenience and efficiency, along with a relaxed and warm country hospitality atmosphere.

Phone: +27 (0) 11 840 6600

William Nicol Drive & Pieter Wenning Road Fourways

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