• From left: Yaffa Publishing marketing manager Chris Hamilton, Alaskan Rock's Nadia Santomaggio and PKN publisher Lindy Hughson, with the prize winning bottle and the PKN Shelf Shout Award trophy.
    From left: Yaffa Publishing marketing manager Chris Hamilton, Alaskan Rock's Nadia Santomaggio and PKN publisher Lindy Hughson, with the prize winning bottle and the PKN Shelf Shout Award trophy.
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Artisan Vodka maker Alaskan Rock has far from rested on its laurels since winning the Best New Pack category in PKN's Shelf Shout Awards this year.

On top of its Shelf Shout success in June this year, the company has picked up another award overseas, signed up its first stockist in Australia and started an online marketing channel to further build its sales in Australia and overseas.

Speaking to PKN when presented recently with the trophy for the Shelf Shout Award, company founder Nadia Santomaggio said these milestones had capped a vintage year for the new entrant into the high-end spirits market.

“It has been a delightful journey and signing up the first stockist is a real cause to celebrate after all the hard work,” Nadia said.

She said the PKN Award is the second major accolade the brand's bold bottle design has garnered, having also picked up an “In Slice” award from London's D&AD Design Awards for 2013.

The black Alaskan Rock vodka bottle was crafted for the company by Andrew Simpson and his team at Sydney's Vert Design which developed Nadia's original concept via computer-aided design (CAD) tools and local prototyping by a talented Australian glass artist.

Featuring a unique “punt” (the underside of the bottle) representing a stylised mountain range, the bottles are machine blown in Mexico and the black glass is hand-finished to apply their contrasting white branding decals. The contents, meanwhile, are distilled in Tasmania.

Nadia said this trans-Pacific supply chain had not proved a burden.

“Shipping the bottles from Mexico has been really quick, and now the company has its first volume deliveries of the finished product – 2800 bottles – which may not sound like a large production run, but really underlines the artisan approach I have taken with the product from design to marketing,” she said.

The brand has also just picked up its first stockist, Sea Breeze Cellars in Dromana, Victoria, and Nadia said she was hopeful of signing up more soon on the back of her predominantly online marketing channels.

“Social media is a free way to get your name out there in the market, and the perfect way for a small business such as Alaskan Rock to be able to engage clients on the same level as larger companies,” she said.

To complement these marketing efforts Nadia said the company was about to embark on its next design project – the crafting of a new range of sample bottles to send potential stockists.

“I am talking to my designers now about creating small 30 or 50ml samples using some really different ideas for how to make them stand out in the same way that the bottles and the overall packaging is so unique,” she said.

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