I first met Nicole Durdin from Seppeltsfield Road Distillers early last year when she was refining her gin recipes.
How did the professional horn-player and former Police officer get into gin distilling? In 2015, her husband Jon was seconded to the UK for work and Nicole went too. She had recently taken early retirement after a ten-year career in the Police force. Owing to visa restrictions Nicole wasn’t allowed to work and set about filling her time immersing herself in the UK gin scene.
Nicole and Jon decided that they wanted to open a distillery and cellar door upon their return to Australia, and settled on the Barossa Valley. Nicole’s family has four generations that have been involved in the wine industry, so it seemed like a natural place to build.
And build they did. Inspired by the TV show, Grand Designs, the cellar door and still room was built using shipping containers, as featured in one of the shows episodes.
It was heartwarming to see their hard work celebrated with a visit from the Australian Distillers Conference delegates in November.
Seppeltsfield Road Distillers Gins
Nicole didn’t intend to release three gins, but during the experimentation phase, came up with a few recipes that she really liked. These were refined to the three that were released.
Being based in the Barossa Valley, using grape based spirit from Tarac Industries was a natural choice. Nicole wasn’t fixed on using native botanicals, instead, she wanted to use ingredients that grow locally. Pink peppercorns and lavender are both picked from nearby sources.
Barossa Dry Gin ($66 500ml) ABV 41.5%
This featured in my Top 10 Australian Gins of 2018. It’s gin just how I like it. Classic, with plenty of juniper and coriander, with hints of pink peppercorns. Makes a fresh gin and tonic and a superb martini!
House Gin ($66 500ml) ABV 41.5%
Nicole describes this as her ‘modern’ gin. It has less of a juniper focus, (but it’s still definitely gin) and includes chamomile, lavender and cornflower.
Savoury Allsorts ($66 500ml) ABV 41.5%
One for all your herbaceous gin lovers! Thyme, marjoram, borage, and gentian and star anise are distilled alongside juniper to create a delightfully savoury gin.
Nicole and Jon have great attention to detail and the quality of the gins and the beautiful cellar door are a testament to their hard work.
Seppeltsfield Road Distillers is open to visitors Seppeltsfield Rd Distillers is open 11 am – 5 pm Thursday, Sunday and Monday, and 11 am – 6 pm Friday and Saturday. For more information, head to their website.