"Gin made from grape spirit has a softer, more elegant style with wonderful aromatic characters...
I’m able to share with you my dream of producing my own small batch artisan gin produced here in South Australia."
- Rowland Short, Founder and Distiller
McLaren Vale may be intrinsically linked with powerful red wines - but it also home to one of Australia’s most acclaimed artisan distilleries, McLaren Vale Distilling, whose range of Settlers gins have now won many accolades.
A former sailing master, Rowland Short and his wife Shelley arrived in McLaren Vale nearly a decade ago and created the highly successful Maximus Wines. Rowland decided to take advantage of the process called saignée, where on the first day of fermentation winemakers run off some free juice from their grapes, concentrating the colour and flavour of the grapes and the wine that’s left behind. Some winemakers turn that run off juice into rosé - Rowland decided to turn it into gin.
A fifth generation brewer and soft drink manufacturer, Rowland is passionate about gin, particularly gin made from grape spirit as opposed to the more commonly used grain spirit.
“Gin made from grape spirit has a softer, more elegant style with wonderful aromatic characters,” he says. ”This is how gin was originally made in Holland in the 16th century.”
But what makes Settlers truly unique is that it uses a time consuming distilling process that makes the most out of the botanicals that flavour the gin.
In most distilleries botanicals are put into the still with the alcohol, but at Settlers each botanical is individually vapour-infused in a copper pot still, resulting in a brilliant concentrated essence. The result is wonderful aromatics and clean, clear flavours with great length and clarity.
“It takes 12 times longer to instil the botanicals but you end up with… flavours that are bright and crisp and clearly defined,” Rowland says.
The name Settlers Gin pays respect to the migrants who first came to settle in South Australia in 1836. They were free settlers who arrived by ship from the UK to take up parcels of land being offered by the South Australian Land Company.
While celebrating South Australia’s history, Settlers Gin now provides a wide range of original and fruit gins all with an emphasis on subtlety of flavours and aromas, inspired by a sailing master’s determination to make the best small batch gin possible.
As an old sea dog and former master mariner I’ve always loved gin and now, through our partnership with Artisan Food Selection Australia, I’m able to share with you my dream of producing my own small batch artisan gin produced here in South Australia. For a special treat try making a Singapore Sling the original way with our Maraschino Cherry Liqueur.