Canberra region, ACT

This gin is made from bushfire smoke tainted grapes

By The Weekender Travel

September 23, 2020 | 2 minute read

Images: Four Winds Vineyard
Images: Four Winds Vineyard

“This gin was the one good thing to come out of our vineyard this year.”

A vineyard in Murrumbateman, NSW has found a creative way to turn lemons into lemonade, or in this case, a bad crop into a delicious wine flavoured gin. 

After their vines were destroyed by smoke in January’s bushfires, Four Winds Vineyard teamed up with The Canberra Distillery to create an experimental handmade gin. 

The grapes were tainted by smoke from the fires and couldn’t be used to make their usual batch of Riesling wine. 

“Unable to harvest any grapes for wine and unwilling to leave the great-looking crop for the birds we decided to make a gin,” the Four Winds team said. 

"We didn't think the world needed more grape jelly and, as we enjoy a GnT after a day in the vineyard, gin made sense."

The resulting product took a lot of trial and error, experimenting with different botanicals to pair with the Riesling juice. The final combination they landed on was a citrusy floral gin - similar to the notes that come out in the Four Winds Riesling. 

“The juniper, citrus and apple flavours will partner beautifully with your favourite tonic,” they said.  

Making gin from wine grapes is untraditional but is rapidly growing in popularity. Red wine gins have taken off recently following the huge success of Four Pillar’s Bloody Shiraz Gin. The new Riesling gin was also a big hit, thanks to people connecting with its origin story. 

Judging by the stellar reviews the gin has received, it's as delicious as it tastes. 

"I wouldn’t wish another smoke taint on anyone but this is a fantastic way to salvage the crop," wrote Gary. 

"We’re on to bottle number three already!"

The gin has been sold out since its launch but is back in stock now. So if you're keen to have a taste, snap a bottle up before it sells out again.