The 2020 Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin will be released in early July.
Distiller Cameron Mackenzie said the Yarra Valley and immediate surrounds were lucky not to be affected by smoke taint from the Australian bushfires.
“2020 will go down as one of the strangest vintages on record,” he said. “While half the country was on fire and experienced extreme heat, the Yarra was quite the opposite.
“Overall, we had very mild conditions and high rainfall so the region stayed green for most of summer. Low fruit set and small bunch weights intensified the fruit flavours but the cool conditions (yes, a very cool summer) has allowed great spice, red berry and natural acidity.
“Straight away you get pine forest notes, white pepper and spices. The gin is beautifully balanced with a delicious sweetness and nice tannins to finish.”
This year, as with the 2019 release, more than 100 tons of Shiraz has been sourced from vineyards in the Yarra Valley and nearby regional neighbours in the Macedon Ranges and Yea Valley.
The history of this much-loved gin dates back to World Gin Day in 2015 when, after ‘appropriating’ 250kg of Shiraz from Four Pillars’ landlord at the time, Rob Dolan, Cam and the team steeped the whole berries with high-proof Rare Dry Gin for eight weeks before releasing it in an unlabelled bottle. It sold out in a matter of days.
So in 2016 the Bloody Shiraz Gin got its own proper label and a proper name, and in 2017 it was sent out into the world, with a small amount exported to key markets in Asia, the US and Europe. The original and first Shiraz Gin in the world, it is now a universal phenomenon and Four Pillars’ second highest selling product behind the original Rare Dry Gin.
This year the Shiraz was sourced from Punt Road, Boat O’Craigo, Yering Station and Faraday Estate as well as the aforementioned growers in Yea and Macedon. The harvested grapes are de-stemmed, but kept mainly as whole berries and then steeped in Rare Dry Gin in cool tanks that are stirred daily.
After eight weeks the fruit is pressed before being blended with more Rare Dry Gin to achieve an alcohol level of 37.8%.
Available at all good retailers, Global Travel Retail (when we can travel again) and most great bars across the globe. Bloody Shiraz is now available in more than 20 markets across the world.