How Is Ochre Made?
Here at Bass & Flinders Distillery we use the finest Chardonnay grapes from our local Red Hill region, one of Australia's most thriving regions for cool climate Chardonnay grapes.
Chardonnay grapes are harvested at the precise moment when the flavour spectrum for distillation is at its peak. They are then pressed immediately using traditional techniques and fermentation of the juice immediately follows using only the cleanest, purest grapes with no additives.
To achieve a world-class spirit, distillation takes place in a traditional copper still, also known as an Alembic still. The Alembic still is not something one can simply 'create'. Exact rules are set on how the Alembic is supposed to look and operate based on age-old traditions.
As the liquid boils in the copper stills, the wine begins its transformation into eau-de-vie (French for "water of life") through a distillation process. The quality of our Ochre spirit resides entirely on the quality of its eau-de-vie. The double distillation of wines converts into eau-de-vie and is thus a major part of the production process. This is the moment when the first aromas, characteristics and promises of taste sensations reveal themselves.
The Ageing Process?
The oak barrels have a very important role to play. They are the key to producing fine aged spirit. Imported from France, each of our 330-litre and 110-litre French oak barrels have been previously used to store aged grape spirit for 25 years in France. Each and every barrel therefore produce its own unique flavoured Ochre. It is for this reason, all of our bottles are painstakingly preserved in a hand-numbered bottle according to the lot from which it came. This small detail is an indication that each spirit Bass & Flinders Distillery produces is truly unique and is crafted by an artisan distiller.
In an environment filled with scents and varying temperatures, the filled barrels are then stored in our barrel room in Dromana. Here, time enters the scene, patiently ageing the eau-de-vie, which develops, taking on unique flavours and characteristics. Time, together with the natural evaporation process, Ochre is shaped and aged into the fine spirit you can take pleasure in today.