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Venture beyond South Australia’s rolling vineyards and you’ll uncover a myriad of boutique, award-winning distilleries.
Gin, whisky, brandy…no matter your tipple, South Australian spirits are punching above their weight on the international stage, jostling for shelf space in our bars and bottle shops with global best-sellers.
Sweeping the international awards circuit with their locally-sourced, high quality and high value ingredients — think pink peppercorns, lavender and even oyster shell — these are the boutique SA distillers to watch (and sample!)
In April this year, one of South Australia’s most awarded distilleries, Ambleside Distillers, added another feather to its cap, with the popular ‘Big Dry Gin’ crowned ‘Australia’s Best’ at the 2022 London Spirits Competition.
Founded in 2016 in Hahndorf, located in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, Ambleside was built ‘from the garden up’ by mum, dad and son trio; Trudy, Steve and Matt. Since then, business has flourished, with the distillery now producing five different types of gin, as well as a range of gin-themed condiments and merchandise.
Ask any local, and they’ll tell you that there’s no better place to be on a sunny Saturday afternoon than Ambleside’s deck, with a gin cocktail in hand.
A short, 15 minute drive up the road from Ambleside Distillers is 78 Degrees Distillery.
This lauded local label raked in the accolades at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, receiving eight medals overall including a Double Gold medal for its Sunset Gin, as well as Gold Medals for its Desert Gin, Bitter Orange, and Apple Brandy.
78 Degrees features uniquely Australian botanicals in many of its spirits, including gins, vermouths, aperitifs and Australian Whisky.
You’ll find 78 Degrees Distillery at Lot 100 — home to five of South Australia’s best, forward-thinking, food and craft beverage producers — an ever-popular spot for long-lunches in the sun.
Kangaroo Island Spirits
Highlighting local and native Australian ingredients in its range of high-quality liqueurs and spirits, Kangaroo Island Spirits won big at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including gold medals for its O’Gin and Whisky Barrel Aged Gin.
The Distillery’s cellar door is a must-visit for those heading to Kangaroo Island, offering ‘Blend Your Own Gin’ experiences and cocktail masterclasses. There’s no better place to savour a tasting flight than their gorgeous Gin Garden, either.
Prohibition Liquor Co.
Tucked away in the south-west corner of Adelaide’s CBD is Prohibition Liquor Co., a multi-award-winning craft gin distillery.
Growing from humble beginnings in its founder’s backyard, the Distillery opened a cellar door and tasting room — which also operates as a cocktail bar and coffee shop — in 2019.
Seppeltsfield Road Distillers
It might be located in the heart of South Australia’s wine-country, but that hasn’t stopped Seppeltsfield Road Distillers from drawing visitors near and far to its booming cellar door!
Situated on the iconic Seppeltsfield Road, just a stone’s throw away from some of the Barossa’s best wineries, Seppeltsfield Road Distillers produce award-winning small-batch gin, using local botanicals like lavender and pink peppercorns sourced locally. In fact, in just four years, Seppeltsfield Road Distillers range of Barossa made gins have received more than 70 accolades and awards.
No trip to the Barossa would be complete without sampling a tasting flight and a French cheese platter at their cellar door.
Never Never Distilling Co
In 2019, South Australia’s very own Never Never Distilling Co was voted ‘World’s Best Classic Gin’ at the prestigious World Gin Awards in London — and the accolades have kept coming ever since.
The McLaren Vale distillery, known for being ‘fearless with flavour’, has lived up to its reputation, recently releasing the ‘Oyster Shell Gin’. A uniquely South Australian offering, the gin has been made with — yes, you guessed it! — local oyster shells from Kangaroo Island.
For a tasting, head along to Never Never’s distillery door, located right next to the Chalk Hill Wine Bar.