A key ethos for Holly Klintworth and the team at Bass & Flinders is to celebrate and source ‘local’ as much as possible, and the new Heartbreak Pinot Noir Gin exemplifies this perfectly.
In creating the gin using Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula, home to Bass & Flinders, Holly and the team worked to ensure this was not an aperitif drink, but a food-focused spirit that would test the traditional wines it hopes to compete with.
Holly explained to The Shout‘s sister title, Bars and Clubs, where the inspiration came from, for the gin: “The Mornington Peninsula is known for premium Pinot Noir and we’ve always looked to what’s available in our own backyard, on the Peninsula for inspirations,” she said.
“We’ve got a pretty close connection to the winemakers, and our production manager Dan he’s actually a winemaker by trade. So this is something that we’ve wanted to do for a little while and we made the call this year, probably a little bit too late in the season and we just managed to get our hands on the last of the fruit for the season.
“It’s very much continuing that line of being dedicated to creating gins that are able to be matched with food, we produced the Orient and Maritime gins for a very similar reason. The Heartbreak Pinot Noir Gin is dedicated to people who love Pinot Noir, but don’t necessarily want to commit to opening a whole bottle and then not finishing it and then happy to go down the drain.
“So we really tried hard to produce a gin that had a lot of the flavours and aromas that you would expect to find in Pinot Noir and therefore would equally be able to match with the similar meals that you would enjoy with Pinot Noir.”
Having had the inspiration and idea to create the gin, Holly and the team then set about actually making it work.
She told Bars and Clubs about the process: “We’ve done it in a fairly unique way in that we got the fruit and we allowed a natural fermentation to take place and we actually fortified the juice with the gin. Then it became a process of adding botanical distillate that we generally would associate with Pinot Noir. So Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir, in particular, you generally find bright strawberry, raspberry fruits, as well as some floral violet and lavender notes.
“It’s interesting because wine can be really subjective and they throw around all of these different flavours and aromas. So that gives us a whole host of different flavours and aromas to cherry pick based on how that fermentation played out and the notes that we really wanted to highlight to celebrate Peninsula Pinot Noir in particular.”
And like wine, that means this gin will change with each vintage. For more from Holly on how different vintages will impact the gin, the foods it works with and how to drink it, head to Bars and Clubs.