Bass & Flinders Distillery: Artisan Grape Spirits
Address: 232 Red Hill Road, Red Hill VIC 3937
Varieties: Grappa, Vodka, range of Gins, Limoncello, Aged Grape Spirit (similar to a premium brandy or Cognac)
It started with two new neighbours getting to know each other over a glass of champagne, and has culminated years later in the creation of award winning gins and spirits. Founders Wayne Klintworth and Bob Laing (now deceased) were the first to pioneer a distillery in the winery-saturated Mornington Peninsula, and once you pay them a visit, you’ll be very thankful they did.
In a converted distillery shed that includes a trendy cocktail indoor/outdoor bar, you’ll be guided through the fascinating distilling process – often by owner/founder Wayne or his daughter Holly. Of course, you’ll also get to sample some of the delicious wares they have worked hard to create, which are notably stocked in many well known restaurants and bars around Melbourne and the Peninsula
So what exactly makes Bass & Flinders Distillery so special? Good question. The original idea for the distillery was to make a Cognac style spirit, but that takes 5-6 years to age. So what to do in the meantime? Make other spirit varieties, of course.
Little did they know that the gin they created to “fill in time” would become their signature show stoppers. Their current varieties rake in the accolades from critic including their base range: their classic soft and smooth Gin, wild and spicy Gin 10, refreshing and unique Monsoon Gin, and a range of ever changing limited edition and seasonal options.
They’ve also got plenty of other fantastic options that benefit from their focus on the finer details, like using Cape Schanck water in their Sheerwater Vodka, or using locally produced lemons to create delicious Limencello varieties.
Their Aged Grape Spirit has also been released and is highly recommended. They serve the tasting in a warmed glass to really bring out the aromas.
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Bass & Flinders Distillery is set out the back of the beautiful Mont Rouge Estate, amongst the authentic aesthetics of vines and bushland. The old shed feels a bit unpromising from the outside, but on the inside they’ve done a fantastic job of creating a contemporary bar space where you can relax and request a cocktail (or several).
As an operational distillery, you’ll be amongst the equipment and barrels as you taste, which really just makes the experience all the more special.
You can’t talk about Bass & Flinders Distillery without mentioning their famous Gin Masterclass. This is an experience like no other, where you get the chance to design your very own bespoke gin. They’ll guide you through the distilling process, let you sample various gins (for reference, of course), and then leave you to create your own bottle, which you get to take home!
What we like
The Bass & Flinders Distillery offers excellent artisan spirits that you won’t find in many other places, and certainly not on the Mornington Peninsula. They haven’t just created great gins and left it at that though; they’ve focussed on creating truly personal and memorable visits that enhance the entire experience.
What we don’t like
Their Gin Masterclasses have become such a signature experience it means that sometimes the cellar door is hard to get a booking, we can generally work around it though