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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Sacha La Forgia


Before he was 25, Sacha La Forgia had travelled the world working wine vintages in Germany, France, Chile, California and New Zealand. But it was his time making grappa in Italy that convinced him to return home to start Adelaide Hills Distillery in 2014.

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It has been a rapid rise for La Forgia, with his spirits including gin, rum and an Italian aperitif inspired by his time in Friuli winning a host of national and international awards.

The 30-year-old was named a winner at the inaugural InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards in June.

Co-located in Hay Valley with Mismatch Brewing, La Forgia now sells his spirits range, led by his 78 Degrees Gin, around Australia and in the UK, Europe and Hong Kong.

He plans to open a cellar door at Hay Valley near Nairne with Mismatch, Hills Cider Company and Ashton Valley Fresh in October.

“There’s still so much growth potential and we haven’t even opened the cellar door yet,” the University of Adelaide winemaking graduate says.

“It’s funny because people look at the gin category and think that it’s almost saturated but it’s so far away from that.

“When I started I was hoping it would head in this direction but I wasn’t quite sure – I always knew it had potential but I didn’t know if I would be able to achieve it from such small beginnings.”

We asked La Forgia some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

We have a very tight-knit community where everyone wants to help you and get behind your ideas and dreams. If you need assistance, you probably went to school with someone who can help you out!

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

It can be a little hard to break into the larger markets on the east coast.

Do you see your future in South Australia?


How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Encourage innovation and foster young and ambitious people.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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