What do you do when your career in IT has left you burnt out and searching for something more in life? You turn to winemaking…of course!
Meet Jason Hannay, the distiller behind Imbibis and Clarity Gin, our latest gin of the month. While Jason had always been a partaker of good wine, it was actually a clairvoyant who set him on the winemaking path.
Lucky for us they did, because as he entered the industry Jason was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Peter Scudamore-Smith MW. The MW stands for Master of Wine and without going into too much detail, this is a very select group worldwide. Jason found a mentor in Peter, which set him onto a successful career path for the next 20 or so years.
Stints at a number of top producers in Qld eventually saw him land at Flinders Peak Winery. With all aspects of winemaking under his hat, Jason also turned his hand to distilling at Flinders. With such an abundance of ‘grape juice’ around why wouldn’t you?!
In fact, a love of grapes pushed Jason forward at each stage to learn more. How to grow them to begin with and then discover what more can be done with them. Like us you can probably see where this was leading. Grape spirit is becoming ever more popular in gin production. For some producers like Jason, it’s really the only choice, not just because of his history in the industry but also for the qualities it offers. More on that in our how to drink article!
Back to Flinders where Jason learnt the art of distilling and was producing a very tasty product.
Some further soul searching however led him to the decision it was time to be his own boss. Coming full circle, Jason secured space at the original winery he worked at, Warrego Winery, in Haigslea (near Ipswich) Qld.
Jason has secured enough space in the old winery to kick things off with Imbibis, while also giving him room to grow as he expands operations. His 200l hybrid still is producing all of his spirit so far and has some innovative tweaks to allow him to get the best out of it. Considering Jason also makes his own base spirit, a still that can ‘do it all’ is incredibly important. This means combining a column with a more traditional pot to allow him to get the ABV up to a neutral level.
Having settled in at Imbibis towards the back end of last year, Jason is producing Clarity Gin, which you’ll be enjoying this month. He’s also producing one of the tastiest brandies we’ve tasted in some time. It’s super small batch, but no doubt once word gets around, he’ll be upping production in the future!
For now, we’re pretty sure you’re going to love the Clarity Gin from Imbibis. It’s complex, full of flavour and very easy drinking! You can read more about it in our How to Drink article.