Farmers for millennia have managed the abundance of harvest by fermenting excess production. Whether a grain, a fruit or vegetable, the starch or sugars present can be transformed and preserved. Melville Park continues this tradition by grounding its choice of spirits in the available produce from its seasonal abundance and nearby farms.
And we embrace (as we are with our cheesemaking) the methode traditionale of distillation.
NOTE WE HAVE OUR FEDERAL MANUFACTURING LICENSE AND WORKING ON A PRODUCER'S LICENSE AT THE STATE LEVEL AND WE ANTICIPATE HAVING LIQUORS ON SALE TO THE PUBLIC IN 2023 (ONCE APPROVED TO DO SO).
Hand crushed and pressed apples from Jarrahdale’s Valle Verde orchards will be turned into a bone-dry cider. The cider is then pot-distilled into an eau de vie de fruit. After a minimum of two years in oak barrels, it will become our signature "Melvados" (Calvados-style brandy). We use seconds of fruit principally gala, pink lady and granny smith. These are delicious apples that just happen to be not the right size or have blemishes. We are also planting heirloom cider apple varieties (winter 2023) at Melville Park. Still, they will take a few years to find their way into our single barrel Melvados, or maybe they will just become a barrel-aged scrumpy.
Planet barley (two-row malting) grown at the McKenna farm (cousins of David's) in Boyup Brook will be traditionally small batch-malted before mashing and pot-distilling. This is destined to be our single estate single barrel whisky. It is named Le Var in honour of the 1898 Perth Cup winner who was the founding sire for the Melville Park thoroughbred stud.
We are create some strong partnerships with local viticulturists and wineries. As winemakers pursue excellence in their craft not all vintages make the grade. That's where brandy comes in. This time honoured tradition in France has always been a part of Australian winemaking - we are wanting to lift it to a new level. We are also going to express the terroir of our region with a couple of very local offerings as well.
Once the go-to starch source for vodka, it has been sidelined by pretty much all producers now. In the spirit of methode traditionale, Melville Park will grow potatoes on-farm (it did produce potatoes early in the 1900s) and distill vodka on-farm. It will be earthy and unashamedly potato-based.
We are experimenting with this traditional (pre-sugarcane) source of sugar for our vodka. Sugar beets are 20% sugar and their leaves are an excellent forage for cattle. We have sourced a small quantity of seed and will begin to increase our harvest over the next few years.
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