Gin combined with Yarra Valley grapes? Bloody brilliant. This crazy experiment using our original Rare Dry Gin steeped with local cool climate Shiraz grapes has become a cult-favourite, the perfect balance of sweet fruit and ginny goodness. Four Pillars Distillery is in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley, beautiful cool climate wine country. We’d have to be crazy not to take advantage of it.
So back in 2015 that’s what we did. We were happily making gin out the back of our mate Rob Dolan’s winery, and in late April a tiny parcel of Shiraz came in from one of the region’s best vineyards. Rob wasn’t sure what to do with it, so we took it off his hands – perhaps without his knowledge… It seemed perfectly obvious to Cam Mackenzie that we should steep these grapes in Rare Dry Gin to see what happened. The result was alcoholic alchemy… the juice turned a magical purple colour and found a sweetness straight from the ripe grapes.
So now each year we take local Shiraz fruit, steep the whole berries in high-proof gin for eight weeks before pressing. The colour remains a deep, rich, reddish-purple. Aromatically it shows fresh pine needles, citrus and spice, and distinct peppery, dense raspberry notes. The palate is lovely and sweet with a long juniper and spice character on the finish. The marriage of our Rare Dry Gin botanicals with the most delicious Shiraz fruit on the planet. No added sugar. None. Ever. – Four Pillars