Our Story

The Swan Valley Gin Company is located in the north-eastern part of the Swan Valley and shares the property with Pandemonium Estate.

The Swan Valley is one of the oldest wine grape growing areas in Australia with the first vines planted in 1829 using cuttings brought from South Africa.

Migrants from Europe brought their wine culture to the Swan Valley and many vineyards were established by Croatians and Italians post World War II. In the 1960’s, the area was one of the largest for the production of fortified wines in Australia.
A large distillery existed at the Emu Wine Company vineyard in the 1940’s and this was sold to Valencia Vineyards in 1950. The distillery was closed down in 1982.
  • In 2007 Loraine and Martin purchased a deceased estate with a vineyard in Baskerville located on Great Northern Highway.

    As well as bringing the thirty-year old vines back to life they planted 2.5 hectares of Muscat a Petit Grains vines sourced from original vine rootstock in Rutherglen.

    Pandemonium Estate was established in 2008 with an interest in Spanish grape varieties from new plantings of Tempranillo and Savagnin. At this time the Muscat vines were producing excellent fruit which was used for the Moscato and Fortified Liqueur Muscat. The cellar door opened in November 2015 selling a variety of wine styles with a Spanish twist.

  • Loraine and Martin’s love of all things Spanish began with a trip to Spain and a few vineyard visits later they decided to purchase an abandoned vineyard in the Swan Valley. The vineyard had a significant planting of the Spanish grape Pedro Ximenez from the early 1970’s and plantings of Tempranillo were quickly added.

    Both our Spanish varieties and the Muscat grapes thrived in the hot, dry summers and production improved year on year. With an excess of wine developing we decided that our love of Mediterranean Gin may give us an opportunity to produce Gin from our vineyard and the other wonderful local produce.

  • All the pieces of the puzzle came together in 2017 when it was decided that Gin production was a perfect fit for cellar door and there was potential to have a distillery in the Swan Valley. There was an oversupply of Muscat grape production as well as supplies of unsold wine that gave Martin the raw material to distill alcohol.

    Martin attended the first course of Fundamentals of Spirit Production at the University of Adelaide in late 2017 where the passion was fuelled. Once the Business plan was written and licence obtained, it did not take long for the first batch of Artisan Dry Gin to flow from the still.

    Since 2018, Martin and Loraine have been producing Gin from wine and for the first time in 2019, Muscat was produced for the explicit purpose of distillation. The process is a true “vineyard to triple distillation” production process.

Our Process

Our production of Diablo Gin starts in the vineyard with our amazing fruit, picked at peak sugar concentration and then pressed, fermented and stored. The white wine is then distilled to extract the ethanol and remove any less desirable components such as methanol. We use our large 200 litre hand crafted copper still made in Western Australia to distill the wine. Martin then selects the best “cuts” from the distillation to soak with the botanicals for 24-48 hours.

All Gins must contain Juniper berries and these are sourced mainly from Eastern Europe with only tiny amounts available in Australia. Martin uses Juniper berries from Serbia and Montenegro that are selected for freshness and quality.

These berries are gently bruised before being soaked in grape spirit and then added to the second 100 litre still to extract the concentrated spirit. After a five-hour distillation process the concentrated Juniper flavoured spirit is separated into several “cuts” and the best selected to make their way into storage in stainless steel containers. Pure Darling Range spring water is then added to dilute the mixture to a palatable strength and the Gin is left to settle for four weeks.

Some of the Gins require botanicals to be added after the distillation such as the Spiced Cumquat Gin where fresh turmeric is used to add spice and colour. The Saltbush Gin has the saltbush added after the distillation to give it greater complexity.

For each Gin, Martin aims to select a Swan Valley botanical as the “hero” and then match other flavours to build the palate and create a profile of spices. Martin says, “we like the ‘Yin & Yang’ principle where a soft citrus component is paired with a warm spice component to create a broad flavour appeal. Every Gin will have many components and we use up to eleven different botanicals/flavours to create a specific Gin.”

OUR PRODUCE

The Swan Valley has it’s heritage with European migrants and is a food bowl of fruit and vegetable production all year round. There is a vast array of fruit to choose from including strawberry’s, lemons, mandarins, mangoes and many more that are suited to Gin production.

SVGC choose local mandarins for their intense skin flavours to be the main citrus backbone of the Artisan Dry Gin.

Many options are nearby with amazing lemons, oranges, cumquats and pomegranates giving inspiration. Olives, rosemary and fennel grow on the property and a small herb garden planned.

There are many indigenous botanicals in the local bushland and we hope to find some more exciting flavours to compliment the Saltbush Gin.

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