Our Méthode Eau de Vie. What is it and what does it mean? Why is it important?
At Bass & Flinders Distillery we choose to do things differently.
We believe producing a world-class spirit takes patience. It requires creativity and attention to detail, to go the extra mile, to start at the source. To tell the story beyond the botanicals. This is our Méthode Eau de Vie - the art of distilling wine into pure, full-flavoured spirit, crafting our premium spirits from scratch to deliver a smoother, richer flavour across our entire range of artisanal gins, brandies and liqueurs. This is our true dedication to craft and quality.
Our unique vine-to-bottle method is at the core of our pursuit of excellence. An innovative, artisanal process that requires a great deal of time and patience and a mastery of the art of distillation. This is the essence of our Méthode Eau de Vie. Our grape-based eau de vie spirit (French for ‘Water of Life’) is the lifeline and foundation from which our entire product range is produced. The technical process we choose to harness is a pure labour of love that reflects our devotion to quality and flavour. Our spirits tell a story of the vintage and local vineyards from which they were made, and are crafted right here at our Distillery in Dromana, located on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.
It’s incredibly important to us that we have complete control over key aspects of the vineyard, winemaking and spirit production processes, right from the start when the grapes are delicately picked from their vines, through to our unique selection of hand-foraged, locally sourced, distinctly Australian botanicals.
We believe quality starts with the grape, so we work closely with our winemaker to specify sugar levels, pH, acidity and ripeness of fruit which all affect the final flavour profile. All of these elements, at the right levels, work in harmony to produce the perfect wine we seek for distilling our eau de vie grape-based spirit. We balance our approach from vintage to vintage in harmony with Mother Nature and the vineyard’s unique microclimate and soil - the ‘terroir’- to guarantee premium grape quality, resulting in our premium eau de vie spirit that reflects the unique flavours and aromas of its source.
In our quest for traceability in the industry, all of our spirits have been distilled from local Victorian wine. Our batch-distilled Méthode Eau de Vie spirit showcases the rich, creamy, ripe aromas expressive of the terroir where the grapes are grown, creating additional layers of flavour, texture and viscosity in all of our spirits.
Our Méthode Eau de Vie is a particularly unique process for gin. Many gins you will have tried from across the globe typically originate using a neutral grain spirit that has passed through a column still resulting in a much higher ABV of up to 96%, largely stripping out all flavour and aroma. It’s very difficult to link the spirit to its base material – whether this be grape, grain, potato or sugarcane. It would require an incredibly refined palate to perceive the differences between these neutral spirits or harness its flavour or aroma enough to influence the finished gin.
With a neutral grain spirit there is a minimal amount of impact on the final product as far as flavour and aroma is concerned. Such a neutral spirit is often prized by gin distillers as it provides a completely stripped bare, neutral base to start from with the focus being purely on their botanicals of choice. It can also be more economically viable and cost effective in terms of time and capital expenditure.
This is where Bass & Flinders Distillery is uniquely different. While most distillers focus mainly on the botanical blend infused over a neutral base spirit, we start by celebrating our flavoursome and textured eau de vie grape-based spirit as a richer base to build a gin from, adding an extra dimension, and with which the select gin botanicals dance in harmony to deliver an unsurpassed gin experience. Drawing inspiration from a love of our coastal home - where the sea meets the wine-growing hinterland, we choose to create an authentically artisanal product made from scratch with full flavour, aromas and underlying texture to the gin. All our products remain true to our heart and home, and purity of source.
Harnessing small batch, Charentais double distillation techniques in our traditional gas-fired alembic pot still allows us to blend traditional techniques with exciting modern innovations. To develop new, unique styles of gins, brandies and liqueurs, to capture the essence of our local flora and define our true sense of place.
It's more than just a product, it is history, it is heritage and it is family. It is a quest for quality in all its forms. A passion originating from a love of classic brandies and a desire to prove just how good Australian spirits can be. Our head distiller and managing director Holly Klintworth is one of a very select group of second-generation distillers in Australia, following in the footsteps of her founder father Wayne Klintworth - championing the best of Australian craft spirits and continuing her father’s legacy of delivering authentic, uniquely Australian grape-based gins, brandies and liqueurs.
Here at Bass & Flinders Distillery our Méthode Eau de Vie is our true stamp of quality. We chose the path less travelled in producing vine-to-bottle spirits because we value quality above all else. We are authentic makers, distillers and creators who are dedicated to the true art of distilling. It is the heart and soul of all we do here at Bass & Flinders Distillery. We are the ‘Spirit of the Mornington Peninsula.’