Ochre

Ochre is a handcrafted aged grape spirit.  A spirit that is double distilled in an Alembic still on the Mornington Peninsula from Chardonnay grapes

We aspired to produce a world-class aged spirit. A spirit that could not only match its international counterparts but also capture the essence of the ‘Australian spirit’ in a bottle.

It was natural therefore, to look to France for inspiration on their production methods of aged grape spirits to guide us in the way we make this product. The result is a beautifully handcrafted Australian style aged spirit.
— Bob Laing, Master Distiller

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. 

Distillation

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?

It starts with the humble acorn. Planted in 1880 we use 135-year-old oak timber to produce our oak barrels and this contributes significantly to Ochre’s quality and flavour profile.
— Wayne Klintworth, Master Distiller

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 rooms in Red Hill. 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.