Margaret River Distilling Company
1 Maxwell Street, Margaret River
Ph: (08) 9757 9351
A Distillery and So Much More
Just when you think you’ve seen all that Australia’s South West has to offer, you come across Giniversity at the Margaret River Distilling Company, tucked away in a bush setting on the edge of the Margaret River township.
You can become a distiller for the day and make your own unique blend of gin using local native and exotic botanicals, after which you will graduate with a bottle of your own personally crafted gin. The gin workshop is delivered by one of the very knowledgeable members of the distilling team and includes tastings of Giniversity’s core gins, an interesting history of gin and insights into the intricacies of distilling.
After feeling proud with our efforts in crafting our very own bottle of gin, we settled in to have a bite to eat. We were seated in the picturesque alfresco area where parents can keep an eye on the kids playing on the lawn or set up their own picnics using the small tables and picnic rugs provided.
Full of flavour, the Fremantle Octopus woke up the tastebuds – served with botanical marinated olives pan tossed in tomato, chilli, preserved lemon, herbs and croutons.
For our second dish, the Farmhouse Lamb Ribs were served with a delicious combination of char-grilled Mediterranean vegetables, fresh figs, salsa Verdi – and the macadamia parmesan crumble added great texture.
A family favourite is the Reuben Pizza, a classic Neapolitan sauce base, mozzarella, shredded corn beef, sauerkraut, red onion, dill pickle relish, rocket and cocktail sauce.
One of my favourites on the menu is the Distillers Deli Board served with a selection of favourite local cheeses, deli meats, seasonal fruits, nuts, quince paste, lavosh and house jam. As a shared platter this is an ideal snack to have with your favourite beverage.
It seemed only natural to enjoy our food with gin-inspired cocktails like the Lady Marmalade made with Giniversity Barrel Aged Gin, house made orange marmalade, grapefruit shaken over ice and garnished with dehydrated fruits. Having been aged in Margaret River red wine barrels, this gin expressed a hint of spice and a punchiness that complemented the cocktail perfectly.
The Salty Dog was another refreshing choice, featuring Giniversity Botanical Gin, grapefruit juice and a squeeze of lime over ice served with a salted rim glass. This aromatic expression of gin was particularly reflective of the region, with its pronounced botanicals including lemon myrtle, sandalwood, eucalypts and boronia.
Weddings, functions and special family celebrations are popular at the distillery and located onsite are the Riverglen Chalets – fourteen self contained chalets set on seven acres of bushland and magnificent gardens. With a choice of one, two, three and four bedroom chalets, it’s an ideal accommodation option for wedding guests, couples, families and groups.
Opening hours are 10am til 6pm Sunday to Thursday and 10am til 7pm Friday and Saturday. On Sundays you can have bloody brunch – Bloody Mary Brunch that is. Choose from three carefully crafted Bloody Marys (whisky, gin or vodka) and pair with your choice of three cooked meals.
Head chef Luke Pursell says he enjoys complementing and showcasing the gin where possible through his cooking, as well as using fresh local produce. Even the figs we had were freshly picked from the property.
Venue manager Ben Tassone who has been there from the beginning in 2015, said he wanted to keep prices realistic and for the distillery to be a place that catered to all people. I can assure you that the Margaret River Distilling Company has succeeded.
By Ingrid Rickersey