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From Vineyard To Distillery: How Feels Is Made - Feels Botanical

From Vineyard To Distillery: How Feels Is Made

Sustainably-sourced, distilled, blended and batched. We're getting technical and lifting the lid on our spirit-making process.

Harvested from the rolling vineyards of Australia

As autumn settles in each year, and as grape-picking winds down and the seasonal workers move on, vineyards may often find they’re left with too much fruit to process for the year’s vintage. In the wine industry, this is known as an ‘oversupply.’ Along with an allocated order, oversupply forms the bulk of our eau de vie spirit base. Bottom line is, with the majority of fruit coming from vineyards that would otherwise have to throw them out, this approach is about as sustainable as it gets. Less wastage, lower spirit miles. 

Feels Botanical vineyard

Teaming up with Australia’s only B Corp Certified Distillery

For us, as a small (and relatively new) family-run business, everything became possible when the award-winning Applewood Distillery welcomed us in to produce our botanical eau de vie—at scale. B Corp Certified and home to some of the best equipment and minds in the business, their knowledge in sourcing native Australian botanicals and opting for sustainable farming helps us to keep our entire supply chain ‘green’ too.  They’re a business we deeply admire, and one who’s vision for breaking boundaries and caring for the land we share. Next stop? Following their lead with a B Corp stamp of our own. 

Feels Botanical distilling process

How we turn those grapes into an eau de vie

We often say we landed on a grape-based eau de vie for a few reasons: it’s gluten-free, has a unique flavour profile that whispers wine, and a velvety mouthfeel unlike anything we’ve ever tried. The question remains, how does one get from grape to spirit? In short: fermentation, distill, distill again, temperature and time. As you may have guessed, the first stop involves turning those grapes into wine, and then the wine into a high proof spirit through a column distillation process (read: separation and concentration) to deliver a clean, balanced, fruit-driven spirit base. Next, we bring the botanicals and eau de vie base spirit together, harmoniously. That involves steeping and macerating each botanical—from rose to Kakadu plum—in the eau de vie before letting them finish off in those gargantuan copper pot stills for maximum flavour. It is, finally, the process of temperature and time that works wonders until the sweet spot is achieved, the heart of the spirit is selected and cut to bottle strength with pure water.

Feels Botanical distillery

We turn our sustainably-sourced botanicals into distillates

Inspired by ancient apothecary traditions dating back to 2600 BC, our early research and development phase involved seeking out botanicals with two guiding principles in mind: make it local and make it sustainable. A majority of our botanicals are sourced from Australia, including a bounty of Indigenous bush foods such as Kakadu plum, Illawarra plum, Davidson plum, and Quandong. 
When it isn't grown in Australia, such as Revel's coffee, it is locally roasted by an independent South Australian coffee house.

Each botanical trio is individually blended by hand

This part, we could never leave to a recipe or machine. Once we’ve got our eau de vie base and botanical trios, we take to blending each expression by hand. We taste and feel our way through this process to not only achieve perfect harmony, but to imbue Bask, Rouse, Revel and Vivify as its own emotion-driven experience. We couldn’t be prouder of where each of these have landed.

 Ready to serve up? Savour your way across all four expressions, with our limited edition 200ml Gift Box. Shop now.

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