Australian gin distiller Four Pillars Gin was awarded the world’s top accolade on Thursday night, named the International Gin Producer of the Year at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition in London.
Four Pillars, from Healesville in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne, becomes the first Australian gin distiller to win the award, and joins the likes of Sweden’s Hernö (2017) and Japan’s Kyoto Distillery (2018) on the IWSC honour roll.
The award, presented at a black-tie ball at The Guildhall in London, was received in person by Four Pillars head distiller Cam Mackenzie, who messaged co-proprietors Stu Gregor and Matt Jones: “To say that I am in a state of disbelief would be vastly understating the true state of my disbelief.”
The victory caps a momentous year for the distillery, which was also recognised at the 2019 Australian Liquor Industry Awards as its Liquor Brand of the Year.
“When we started making test batches of gin back in 2012 we never in our maddest, wildest dreams thought this kind of international accolade could come so quickly,” a company spokesperson said.
“The fact that this award is not for a single one of our gins but for the whole of our gin business and for what we’ve done to bring modern Australian craft, creativity, and great fun to the global gin category, makes it so incredibly special.”
Four Pillars Gin joins Tasmanian whisky distiller Sullivans Cove among Australian spirits distillers to have reached the peak of success internationally, with Sullivans Cove having twice been named the world’s top single malt whisky.
The IWSC also recognised Kangaroo Island Distillery, which won the trophy for ‘contemporary style gin’ for its KIS O’Gin.
In wines, Morris Wines of Rutherglen, in north-east Victoria, picked up the award for best fortified wine for its Morris Old Premium Rare Muscat, while Australian Vintage Ltd won the Semillon Trophy for McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon 2007.