THE first gin distillery in the King Valley is tapping into renewed interest worldwide in the spirit.
Hurdle Creek Still operators Simon Brooke-Taylor and Wendy Williams opened the stillhouse at their Bobinawarrah property on March 12 after three years of research.
English-born Mr Brooke-Taylor said gin – a spirit that derived its predominant flavour from juniper berries – had gained in popularity in England, Europe and the US.
“Three years ago gin was being rediscovered in the UK and we thought it was something that could go well here,” he said.
“We were starting to see signs of it happening in Australia last year; we were seeing new gins appearing.”
With a background in the food safety regulation industry and craft brewing, Mr Brooke-Taylor tested many recipes before they settled on their New World Gin and Aniseed Gin varieties.
“We make our own spirit from barley and oats and infuse it with light, fresh flavours in our botanicals,” he said.
“We try to use local products like citrus, pink peppercorns, hops, coriander and fennel.”
The process takes 10 days from grain to gin before it is bottled about a week later.
Corryong-born and bred Ms Williams said it was important the venture was sustainable.
“Our grain is also used to feed cattle and we are growing what botanicals we can,” she said.
“We hope to have our own lemon myrtle and fennel.”
Mr Brooke-Taylor said the stillhouse complemented the other food and wine ventures dotted throughout the King Valley.
“We sell at 42 per cent alcohol like the other premium brands in Australia,” he said.
They produce 700ml and 350ml bottles, packaged in a traditional label bearing the catchcry: “Somewhere in the world it’s gin time”.
The stillhouse, 216 Whorouly-Bobinawarrah Road, Bobinawarrah, opens weekends 10am-5pm and week days by appointment. Phone: 0411156773 or 0427331145
Stockists include the Moyhu Hotel, Wangaratta-Whitfield Road Moyhu open Wednesday to Sunday; also the Cellar Door for Merkel Wines
In part reproduced from The Border Mail