Inverroche Gin: Fine fynbos flavours distilled
Off the beaten track, in the little seaside village of Stilbaai on the Western Cape coast, Lorna Scott is making magic with a unique business idea born out of two things: a long-held fascination with distilling, and an awe-inspired passion for Cape fynbos.
Her masterpiece is Inverroche Gin, a proudly South African, artisanal spirit, created with the indigenous flora of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Captured in each gleaming bottle is a unique blend of aromatic fynbos flavours, underpinned by a fascinating story: the story of how the abundant and adaptable fynbos found at the southern tip of Africa contributed to the survival and wellbeing of early humans in millennia long past.
Sowing the seeds
The light bulb for a gin distillery first flickered on in the mind of Lorna Scott when she returned from Scotland with her two children, to a family-owned estate in Stilbaai. Interestingly, Lorna’s foray into distilling was born out of no prior experience nor family heritage in the art of distillery; it began with the purchase of a miniature still, which ignited a fascination in Lorna and her then-teenage son, Rohan, leading to many hours of experimentation.
Three years later, after Lorna’s completion of a university course in sustainable development, hours of web-based learning on the art of distilling, much experimentation with various fynbos types to perfect the recipes, and the establishment of a distillery and brand, South Africa’s first fynbos gin was born.
And the rest is history…
Today, the Inverroche brand, so-named after the Celtic word ‘inver’ for ‘confluence of the waters’ and the French word ‘roche’ for rock, is widely available across South Africa, as well exported to 13 different countries, including England, Belgium, Germany and Holland.
The spirit is handcrafted in small volumes of only 250 bottles per batch, with an emphasis on exceptional quality. In each unique, numbered bottle is the palate and fragrance of rare fynbos botanicals from the smallest and richest floral kingdom on earth – a selling point one certainly won’t come by anywhere else in the world.
It is available in three delightful flavours, Classic, Amber and Verdant, each with their own subtle essence and best enjoyed as G&Ts or neat on the rocks, with a curl of orange zest to enhance the flavour.
The sustainable spirit
While the harvesting of indigenous flora raises important questions around the issue of habitat and biodiversity conservation, Scott explains that preservation of the natural environment is at Inverroche’s core: “Our whole enterprise is founded on principles of sustainability and as such we ensure that our activities do not impact on the natural environment.”
Inverroche sources its botanicals from local farmers and regional fynbos producers who are registered to cultivate and harvest fynbos. Some of the more rare and unusual botanicals are cultivated in Inverroche’s own nurseries and farmland, where seedlings are planted in their natural environment with no chemicals or pesticides used.
“As custodians of this precious resource, we see it as essential to keep the environment like it was when humans first lived in this area 200,000 years ago,” says Scott.
Lorna believes wholeheartedly in the potential for Inverroche to continue creating global awareness about our precious fynbos biome, and in doing so, inspiring people to participate actively in its conservation.
Magic exists when a homegrown business produces an irresistible product with sustainability at its heart. A wonderful excuse for that next G&T.
To explore the magic of Inverroche for yourself, attend one of their delightful distillery tours, gin tastings or food and gin pairings. Find out more here: www.inverroche.co.za
All article images courtesy of Inverroche Distillery