Casella Family Brands is leaving the vine and going with the grain, introducing a new single malt whisky to the market.
The 'Morris Australian Single Malt Whisky' line is aimed at bringing single malt to a wide demographic, being one of only two single malts available for under $100.
They limited costs by leveraging existing infrastructure and already owning the barrels used, allowing Casella to keep overhead costs low.
Making whisky is a bold step for the famous winemakers, but was spurred on when they purchased 'Morris of Rutherglen' back in 2016. They found an unused still and barrels that went back centuries.
The new distillery centres around that original still, dating back to the 1930s and now lovingly nicknamed 'Aurora' after the princess who famously slept for about the same length of time as the still did.
The new whiskies pride themselves on being entirely Australian-made, using locally sourced ingredients and produced in regional Victoria.
John Casella described the process.
"The mash is first brewed and fermented at the family-owned brewery in Yenda before distillation at Rutherglen ... The whisky is then matured in a combination of French and American oak casks sourced from wineries in Barossa and Coonawarra and finished at the distillery."
Mr Casella said that they were looking forward to the new venture and future experiments, but would be starting out by focusing on perfecting the current stills.
"One thing I'm really passionate about personally is the ability to explore and experiment with the world famous Morris barrels and fortified liquids that we have access to, which is a very rare and exciting opportunity," he said.
He was also quick to reassure that any future offerings would still be developed and crafted in-house, and using single barrels.
The whiskies are now available (if you are of legal drinking age.)
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