The Melbourne Gin Company, the latest project from winemaker Andrew Marks, began with this question:
How do you create a gin that encapsulates a city?
Starting with a love of gin and stovetop experiments, Andrew set out to create a gin that would live up to its name. This led to a journey into the world of alchemy and craft distilling, with a good deal of sampling along the way.
Eleven botanicals, both local and exotic, are each individually extracted, distilled and then blended to create a well-rounded, smooth and slightly surprising gin.
Building on the classic foundations of juniper berries and coriander seed, the grapefruit peel and Rosemary hail from the garden at Gembrook Hill Vineyard in the Yarra Valley, where the gin is made.
The other locals are macadamia, sandalwood, honey lemon myrtle and organic navel orange.
Bringing Melbourne’s cosmopolitan flavour to the mix are the exotics: angelica root, orris root and cassia bark.
The final component is water – rainwater from Gembrook in the Yarra Ranges, 60km from Melbourne, with a purity that allows the botanicals to shine through.
Andrew distills each botanical individually in an alembic copper-pot still, balancing seasonal differences in the ingredients with a winemaker’s sensibility.
The final product retains this artisan approach.
The result is a unique take on the essence of Melbourne.
The Melbourne Gin Company is based at Gembrook overlooking the Gembrook Hill vineyard in the Yarra Valley, Victoria.