By The Weekender Travel
October 16, 2020 | 3 minute read
Do you love your artisanal gins and craft whiskeys almost as much as you love exploring the little towns and coastal nooks of regional Australia? Do you enjoy being treated to bespoke experiences and discounts at local businesses? Do you have a designated driver?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re going to adore South Australia’s new Distillery Trail.
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
The South Australian Spirit Producers Association lifted the lid on this new tourism project last week which showcases the best of the state’s spirit industry.
With 18 producers, some less than 30 minutes from Adelaide and others scattered from the Fleurieu Peninsula up to the Yorke Peninsula, you can choose just one stop for a tasting or make a day out of it and follow the trail.
The trail brings together award-winning businesses from across the state and is aimed at both locals and visitors. It shows the location of distilleries so you can map your visit, as well as special offers at each venue if you mention you’re on the Distillery Trail.
Some of the producers even share their signature recipe on the trail website so you can recreate the experience at home. We’ll be sipping the very Aussie themed Yeah, Nah-Groni from the Adelaide Hills Distillery, chased down with Happenstance’s sweet and spicy Fireside Flora Dora. Delicious.
If the promise of a good drop isn’t enough to tempt you out of the house, check out the bounty of activities on offer at the venues. You can try Barrel Aged Gin at 36 Short, meet the distillers (and a copper still named Doug) at Ambleside Distillers, fill your very own whiskey cask at 5Nines or taste the fanciest ‘bathtub’ gin you’ll ever encounter at Prohibition Liquor Co.
“South Australian Gin and Whisky in particular are up there with the best in the world,” said SASPA President George Georgiadis.
“We know we have incredible food and wine in the state, and now we’re proud to add spirits to the food and beverage landscape. To be successful in South Australia you need to create products that are of the highest quality.”
The development of the trail was co-funded by the SA government. Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said he hopes it will give a boost to regional tourism after a difficult year.
“South Australia’s spirit producers have been punching above their weight with award wins on the global and national stage and it is important we continue to promote these success stories,” he said.
“Our producers have forged a reputation for not only premium products but unique experiences at distilleries.”
South Australia is synonymous with wine. In fact, it sits alongside Bordeaux as one of the nine great wine capitals of the world. But what the cheeky vintners of the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and McLaren Vale aren’t telling you is that the state has a burgeoning spirits industry that will turn any wine drinker into a gin snob.
Don’t believe us? Follow the trail and see for yourself.