Limoncello Consumer Awards

Date Posted:1 February 2016 

Headlines often presume a lack of investment in the Far North of New Zealand, so what's often over-looked is existing enterprise in the region and the international recognition attained from that initiative.


A worthy example is Sovrano Limoncello, manufacturing the famous Italian liqueur from tiny Skudder's Beach near Kerikeri, which has just received four major international awards for their products. At the Sip Award 2015 their cream limoncello won gold and the original limoncello won silver – and was the only limoncello to be awarded in the competition. Sovrano Limoncello and Limoncello Cream were also awarded the prestigious Consumer Choice Award in the same competition . 


These latest awards accompany a long list of competition success going back five years. In 2010 the company won their first Gold Medal from the Testing Institute in Chicago, scoring 95 points out of a possible 100 for their '95 limoncello and the '94 cream limoncello. 


Since then they have chalked up an impressive 17 awards from internationally-recognised tasting competitions in Chicago, San Francisco, London and Florida, thus essentially beating home-based Italians at their own respectable game. A full list of awards given to Sovrano Limoncello can be found on their website


Owners, Andrea and Marzia Loggia say Kerikeri lemons, and the zest limoncello is traditionally made from, are ideal for making superior limoncello and it's this, as much as the family recipe they use in the manufacture of the product, that has contributed to their considerable competition success rate.


Both are originally from Northern Italy; Andrea's family is of Sicilian origin, Marzia's family from Mantova. They, and their two sons Paolo and Stefano, immigrated to New Zealand from Milan and settled in Kerikeri in 2007. A daughter, Izabella, was born in New Zealand three years ago. In fact, in establishing Sovrano Limoncello, they were continuing a Loggia family tradition of liqueur-making.


“Having tasted hundreds of limoncello, we knew the importance of using fresh and perfect ingredients and that's what Kerikeri lemons provide. The secret of limoncello must be in the pungent after-taste,” says Andrea.


In the early days of the company's operation they began selling at markets and trade shows locally. Today Sovrano Limoncello is sold around New Zealand through Federal Merchants and exported to Australia, USA and China. Products now include Original Limoncello and cream Limoncello, Orangello and Orangello Cream, Caffelisir (a coffee liqueur) and Vodka. 


Plans for the future include expanding their orchards and the limoncello facility and production capability.


“We need to keep the quality standards at the highest level,” says Andrea. “As we reach more foreign markets we will employ two or three more staff members to help us keep productive.”

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