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You may not give much thought to your afternoon Gin & Tonic. Its route changed the world and the story began in Loja, Ecuador. Read more

Auckland, NZ Food
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on March 28, 2014.

You may not give much thought to your afternoon Gin & Tonic. Its route changed the world and the story began in Loja, Ecuador.

Auckland, NZ Food
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About this project

Eduardo Tapia Castro, Jorge Alvarado Tapia and Alex Gledhill
Eduardo Tapia Castro, Jorge Alvarado Tapia and Alex Gledhill

My name is Alex and we started Quina Fina in 2009 with an idea to make the best Tonic Water possible. My research led me on a journey to the Province of Loja, the birth place of Cinchona, high in the Andes of Ecuador. 

On my travels it became clear that the people of Loja had seen little for their endemic offering. Their once vibrant Cinchona bark trade had been exhausted by colonial powers through extensive deforestation. 

A flowering Cinchona seedling
A flowering Cinchona seedling

To reverse this negative impact, we worked alongside the community to create this unique project. We've fostered strong relationships with the Tapia-Castro family, Cinchona enthusiast Jorge and the Biology Department at UPTL University. 

With this support we have built a Cinchona nursery and begun vital propogation research. 

As an independent project, we intend for it to create its own economic and environmental sustainability to help protect this important plant.

Quina Fina Tonic Water will provide demand for replenishable harvests of bark - funding employment, research and repopulation for ‘Quina Fina de Loja’, with active involvement in the community.

The money we raise will go towards:

- Expenses at UPTL to germinate our seedlings

- Transport for Jorge to navigate the road to and from the remote site

- Materials and equipment for propagation

- Organic fertilizer, pots, and irrigation

- Extending our greenhouse for our growing numbers of Cinchona

- Further research with Carlos and UTPL to create efficient re-population methods

The Tapia Castro Family

The generous Tapia Castro Family have been vital to our success so far, offering both the use of their land and assistance. Passionate about Loja and the Cinchona, Eduardo has been a key developer of the Cinchona project since the beginning. 

Jorge Alvarado Tapia

Jorge is Eduardo's nephew and a recent graduate of San Francisco University in Ecuador's capital of Quito. Qualified as an agribusiness Engineer and specializing in Cinchona, Jorge is perfect to manage the plantation in Loja.

UPTL

UPTL is Loja's main technical institution. We work with Carlos Ivan Espinsoa to germinate seedlings which are transported to the greenhouse. Carlos has a PHD in Biology, conducting research into genetic variability and the different propagation methods for Cinchona. Carlos' technical input has been invaluable to the project. 

AMAUTA Escuela de Educación Básica

Amauta is a small primary school located near our greenhouse in Loja. Students both assist with the maintenance at the nursery and learn about its history and importance to the region.

A Quick History of The Cinchona Tree

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Quina Fina is a small, unique company with big ambitions. We've used all resources available, enlisting the help of family and friends to help Quina Fina grow. 

Alex's brother, Thomas Gledhill, who has been involved with Quina Fina from the beginning, is also involved in getting The Cinchona Project Kickstarter out to the world; managing our Kickstarter launch.

After extensive development and much hard work, our Tonic Water was released in New Zealand to much acclaim. We were awarded the coveted Supreme Winner of the 2013 Cuisine Artisan Awards. Quina Fina saw an increase in demand that has brought the product to Australia, Singapore and soon, the United States. 

2014 started with the release of two new members of the Quina Fina family, Bitter Lemon and our Extra Bitter Tonic Water - which we've also made available to our contributors. 

Using the range to directly raise funds for our raw material is an ideal opportunity to do the best for both our product, and provenance. 

Risks and challenges

Because this is a first, it's relatively uncharted territory.

Cinchona bark has historically been collected in the wild, this is the first nursery and population program.

We have involved a world class technical institution, an Agribusiness Engineer and an extended team connected to the Cinchona and are confident we can succeed.

Another factor is the weather, in the Andes it can be unstable, with long periods of rain. We have set up our own weather system to measure and handle any changes.

We will have a Quina Fina production run especially for the Kickstarter rewards. Because we use a contract bottler, there is always the possibility for delays, due to ingredient shipment delays or machinery issues, or even because the bottling plant is too busy. We have an established relationship with the brewers and will have all the raw ingredients ready to go. All we are waiting for is the numbers!

We are based in New Zealand and manufacture the product here. We plan to send our rewards overseas, to Australia and the United States. There is always a possibility of unforeseen shipping delays, however we have established distribution channels in each of these countries, so we will be well prepared.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    3 backers

    THANKS FOR BEING A SUPPORTER. Every Little bit helps, we'll send you a letter of thanks, from the team at Quina Fina & The Cinchona Project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    18 backers

    YOUR OWN CINCHONA SEEDLING, HIGH IN THE ANDES.

    We'll grow a Cinchona seedling in our nursery in your name. You'll be directly involved in re-populating the Cinchona in Ecuador. And we'll send you a photo.

    You'll also recieve a letter of thanks, from the Team at Quina Fina & The Cinchona Project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    7 backers Limited (23 left of 30)

    Quina Fina Bitters: G&T Power Blend. A powerful but simple essence of Cinchona extract and lemon used often in the Quina Fina kitchen. Add a drop to your standard G&T for extra flavor, or experiment with it behind the bar. Ltd/30 bottles

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    5 backers Limited (25 left of 30)

    Quina Fina Bitters: Riki Carter Blend. A complex blend of ingredients with a Cinchona Bark base. Mastered by New Zealand's own bartender stalwart Riki Carter, of Matterhorn fame. Ltd/30 bottles.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $38 or more

    32 backers

    A SELECTION OF QUINA FINA'S FULL RANGE.
    (New Zealand Only) Try all of our beverages that use this historic ingredient, all the way from Ecuador, including the limited edition: Quina Fina Extra Bitter, a product we only reserve for our best restaurants.4 Bottles of Tonic Water // 4 Bottles of Bitter Lemon // 2 Bottles of Extra Bitter. We'll also send a letter of thanks, from the Team at Quina Fina & the people behind The Cinchona Project.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: New Zealand
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    7 backers

    YOUR OWN THE CINCHONA PROJECT T-SHIRT. (~ $45USD, ~ $50AUD). A Cinchona Project T-shirt // A Cinchona Seedling in your name // A letter of thanks from the team at Quina Fina & The Cinchona Project.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    21 backers

    A FULL CASE OF OUR AWARD WINNING TONIC WATER. (New Zealand Only) 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Tonic Water // A Cinchona Seedling in your name // A letter of thanks, from the team at Quina Fina. Shipping Included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: New Zealand
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    7 backers

    A FULL CASE OF OUR LATEST ADDITION, BITTER LEMON. (New Zealand Only). 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Bitter Lemon // A Cinchona Seedling in your name // A digital letter of thanks from the team at Quina Fina & The Cinchona Project.Shipping Included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: New Zealand
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    10 backers

    A FULL CASE OF OUR AWARD WINNING TONIC WATER (Australia Only ~$74AUD). 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Tonic Water // A Cinchona Seedling in your name // A letter of thanks, from the team at Quina Fina. Shipping Included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    2 backers

    A FULL CASE OF OUR LATEST ADDITION, BITTER LEMON (Australia Only ~$74AUD). 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Bitter Lemon // A Cinchona Seedling in your name // A digital letter of thanks from the team at Quina Fina & The Cinchona Project. Shipping Included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    10 backers

    A FULL CASE OF OUR AWARD WINNING TONIC WATER. (The USA Only) Be the first in the US to try Quina Fina. 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Tonic Water // A Cinchona Seedling in your name // A letter of thanks, from the team at Quina Fina. Shipping Included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    3 backers

    A FULL CASE OF OUR LATEST ADDITION, BITTER LEMON. (The USA Only ~$75USD). 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Bitter Lemon // A Cinchona Seedling in your name // A digital letter of thanks from the team at Quina Fina & The Cinchona Project. Shipping Included

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $180 or more

    4 backers

    TRIPLE CASE BUNDLE (NZ Only). 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Tonic Water, 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Bitter Lemon, 24x 250ml Bottles of Quina Fina Extra Bitter // A Cinchona Seedling in your name // A digital letter of thanks from the team at Quina Fina & The Cinchona Project. Shipping Included

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: New Zealand
  • You selected
    Pledge $290 or more

    6 backers Limited (19 left of 25)

    FRAMABLE TIM WHITE PHOTOGRAPGHY. Shot on the first research trip to the Province of Loja, photographs show the people of Loja, and their connection to the Province. Choose one out of 5 options, printed on high quality stock.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $7,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    AN INVITATION TO VISIT THE CINCHONA PROJECT IN LOJA, ECUADOR. Personally guided by Co-Founder Alex Gledhill. Meet those involved & tour the surrounding mountains and villages // Unique access and full hospitality including accommodation & meals in Loja, Ecuador // Flights from your local international airport to Quito, Ecuador // Additional travel to Quenca and Loja // Choose to spend more time in South America after the tour, we can be flexible with additional arrangements.
    - Note: Scheduling dependent. Vaccinations are required for travel.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (35 days)