South Australian distiller Sacha La Forgia, of Adelaide Hills Distillery, has won Distiller of the Year at the Icons of Gin Awards in London.
The Icons of Gin Awards are based on a distiller’s full range of spirits, and judged by gin aficionados, with Adelaide Hills Distillery selected over other established and emerging brands from around the world.
“I am truly humbled to receive this award,” says La Forgia. “There is nothing I love more than making great tasting gins and knowing that we do it in a way which is sustainable for our precious environment.”
Once a winemaker, La Forgia founded Adelaide Hills Distillery in 2014, after a trip to Frulia, Italy.
While there, La Forgia spent time at a Grappa distillery, meeting a distiller who encouraged him to start his own distillery back in South Australia.
Five years on, La Forgia’s Adelaide Hills Distillery is both large scale and incredibly sustainable.
The distillery creates zero waste water, and draws power from solar panels, while the gin itself is made from a waste material originating from wine.
Indeed, La Forgia started making spirits with leftovers from his family’s annual batch of wine. He later handcrafted a copper still, and in 2015, launched the 78 Degrees Classic Gin, the beginning of the distillery’s core range.
The Icons of Gin Awards are hosted by Gin Magazine, with the intention to celebrate the people, products and places that make the category so dynamic and exciting.
“One of the best parts of receiving this award is that we didn’t even enter,” says La Forgia. “Gin Magazine had been watching us, and liked what they saw. Considering how many great craft distilleries are around these days it’s really special.”