If you had asked me 20 years ago what I knew about gin, my mind would have drawn a blank. Other than enjoying a drop (or few) on ice with a half-decent tonic water, my experience and knowledge of gin was rather limited, and certainly not worthy of an intelligent dinner conversation … or a book.
Had you suggested that I would be the founder of a gin brand, established from an idea over one-too-many Heathcote reds, I would have probably choked and wasted the exquisite drop. But life deals interesting cards, and starting up a gin brand from scratch has been, to say the least, a fascinating journey, with a few steep learning curves along the way.
Fortunately, I have a deep love of learning. Coupled with a passion for sustainable farming, working on the land alongside Mother Nature and being a strong (sometimes stubborn) advocate for consuming all things local, the birth of Heathcote Gin could, at a stretch, be seen as a logical next step in my agricultural, foodie and farming journey.
The beauty of gin is in its diversity. Unlike other spirits that are limiting in how one can play around with the flavours, aromas and ingredients, gin offers the distiller creative scope to come up with exciting new variations on one of the world’s oldest spirits. Gin also doesn’t need years of storage, fermentation and maturing to deliver its own version of excellence. Known at times for my lack of patience, delivering a product that doesn’t require me to wait around for years to reach its full maturity suits me well.
Making gin represents an opportunity to develop a signature style and flavour. In the case of Heathcote Gin, it provides an intricate, yet sophisticated platform to showcase the beauty of a local region, and enables the creator to discover ways to create a new hero, found directly in nature, patiently waiting for its true potential to be revealed.
What I love about creating a local, regional gin is the journey of exploring our local botanicals, the discovery of what may lie in our region’s doorstep and how this discovery may become an exciting opportunity to share something special beyond our local community.
Simply put, making gin using the landscape of our region as the palate is not only exciting but also niched. Nowhere in the world can a spirit be created quite like the one we’ve been inspired to create from Heathcote.
Yours in gin …