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d'Arenberg in high spirits after buying craft distillery


Mclaren Vale winery d’Arenberg has joined the growing ranks of the state’s craft gin producers after purchasing neighbouring Settlers Spirits.

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The producer, which has been making gin in the Vale since 2014, boasts 13 different flavoured gins and a range of whisky, rum, vodka and flavoured liqueurs. It has also established nationwide distribution.

The purchase settled on June 1 and d’Arenberg says it has no immediate plans make any major changes to Settlers’ Foggo Rd cellar door, situated only about 2km from the winery’s famous Cube.

Rowland Short and Shelley Short.

Settlers’ McLaren Vale cellar door operations include gin blending masterclasses and will continue to operate independently.

The business was started by retired sea captain Rowland Short and his wife Shelley who initially opened Maximus Wines on the site before introducing Settlers Gin to the lineup in 2014.

The Shorts switched their focus solely to distilling in 2018 and Settlers Spirits was born.

“I couldn’t be happier to see d’Arenberg as custodians of Settlers Spirits and to see ownership remain within the McLaren Vale wine region,” Rowland Short said of the sale.

The range will be the first significant move into spirits by d’Arenberg, which has produced wine in the McLaren Vale region since 1912.

d’Arenberg Chief Winemaker Chester Osborn said the Settlers brand was a good fit.

“I’m a fan of the diversity and craftsmanship of Rowland’s gins and spirits,” he said.

“The methodical and detailed blending methods represent a philosophical alignment to what we do here at d’Arenberg.

“Rowland has some exciting ideas around product development, and we are excited to work together to bring those ideas to fruition which can only be a great thing for fans of Settlers Spirits.”

The announcement follows the news last week that Adelaide Hills Distillery has been sold to listed company Mighty Craft in a $47 million deal that also includes fellow Lot.100 producers Mismatch Brewing and Hills Cider.

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