Hurdle Creek Still

THE first gin distillery in the King Valley is tapping into renewed interest worldwide in the spirit.

FRESH APPROACH: Simon Brooke-Taylor makes his own spirit from barley and oats and infuses it with botanicals such as citrus, pink peppercorns, hops, coriander and fennel.

FRESH APPROACH: Simon Brooke-Taylor makes his own spirit from barley and oats and infuses it with botanicals such as citrus, pink peppercorns, hops, coriander and fennel.

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 

Merkel Wines

Merkel Wines is an emerging label from a family with long history in King Valley. Young winemaker Glen Merkel has taken the exquisite fruit produced in the vineyard at Myrhee, crafted elegant cool-climate wines and bottled it under the family’s name for the first time in 2015. This is single-vineyard wine, proud and true to the region, exciting and dynamic.

Not just that, Glen and his family have also transformed the Moyhu Hotel, adding a cellar door to the beer garden, dining room and accommodation on offer.

Visit the cellar door Wednesday to Sunday, and watch the website and Facebook page for opportunities to view the stunning vineyard overlooking King Valley.

Merkel with text

11:00am – 5:00pm Wednesday – Sunday

or by appointment

Moyhu Hotel, 16-18 Byrne Street, Moyhu

Phone: 03 5727 9333



Symphonia Wines

Symphonia vineyards is a winemaking idyll in Victoria’s King Valley region owned by Peter and Suzanne Evans. 

The vineyards have quite a history in Australia’s vinous landscape and continues to share the vision of the original owner Peter Read.

When he planted the vineyard in 1981, alternative varieties were always the core focus and this decision has been validated over the years as fruit from the vineyards has been sourced by some notable names. Pizzini, De Bortoli, Gapstead and Bill Downie have all utilised the site. 

Winemaker Lilian Carter continues to assist and coax the fruit into a melodious harmony while family member Sophie waves the baton of the business like an expert conductor.

Our vineyard near Myrrhee in Victoria’s King Valley continues to excel and produce the obscure and the unusual, planted to Petit Manseng, Pinot Gris and Savagnin as well as Saperavi, Tannat and Tempranillo.

No Public Cellar Door

1699 Boggy Creek Road, Myrrhee

Phone 03 5729 7641





Sam Miranda

Sam Miranda is a third generation winemaker continuing his family tradition and passion for producing premium wines.

Experience the ambience of an underground cellar as you enter the subterranean passage leading you to our tasting area. Embark on an adventure with our rare wine varietals hailing from Italy, Spain, France and Russia.

Open 10:00am – 5:00pm

1019 Snow Road, Oxley

Phone 1800 994 750



Politini Wines

The Politini family warmly invite you to visit, sample and enjoy their fine quality, fruit-driven wines of Italian and French varieties.

Relax and treat your senses to the wonderful taste of superb wine, breathtaking vistas of mountain ranges, fresh country air and the humble sound of nature. Open 11am-5pm daily.

Open 11:00am – 5:00pm

65 Upper King River Road, Cheshunt

Phone 0427 567 377



La Cantina

Wine making practices follow the Corsini family tradition for the past three generations with no preservative added and no filtration, thereby retaining the full characteristics of each wine.

The impressive winery and cellar door built by the family from Glenrowan granite rocks in traditional Tuscan style.

Open 10:00am – 5:00pm

54 Honey’s Lane, King Valley

Phone 03 5729 3615




Darling Estate

Darling Estate Wines and Koombahla Vineyard are owned and run by John Darling in the King Valley in North East Victoria, Australia. John is the third generation of the family to run the business in almost 100 years.

Our Koombahla vineyard sits in the hills above Whitfield in the upper King Valley at elevations between 250 and 350m above sea level. The property is bountiful producing walnuts, cherries, apples, pears, figs, grapefruit, lemons and oranges as well as the grapes from the vineyard.

Call for appointment on 0487 298 396

94 Whitty Lane, Whitfield






Dal Zotto

The Dal Zotto family blends generations of Italian wine making expertise and hospitality with a contemporary Australian touch. The result is the essential King Valley experience. Converted tobacco sheds house the cellar door, enjoying stunning views over the vineyard and the valley.

Our acclaimed traditional Italian varietal wines can be tasted with family or savoured with the exquisite menu of local produce at our Italian Trattoria open weekends from 12noon-4.30pm. Visit the website for information and a calendar of events.

Open 10:00am – 5:00pm

4861 Wangaratta-Whitfield Road, Whitfield

Phone: 03 5729 8321