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The Story of Adelaide Hills Distillery

Sacha-Adelaide Hills Distillery

Adelaide Hills Distillery was started by Sacha La Forgia at the age of 18.  His family has a long history of making wine, beer, and cider. This means only one thing was left, distilling. Sacha went out and purchased a small still, and started crafting spirits in the family laundry room during his break before heading to uni. Who needs toilet hooch when you can have laundry spirits?

Soon after, Sacha headed to university to study winemaking. However, he left after two years because staring at a wall all day just wasn’t for him. Sacha packed up his things, and travelled around the world, bouncing from vintage to vintage learning the ins and out of winemaking. While traveling, Sacha soon realised that every great wine making region also had a distilling industry associated with it. Not only would he gain valuable wine knowledge, but also learn the fine art of crafting spirit.

After six years of travelling, Sacha ended up working in a Grappa distillery in Friuli. This is where Bruno, his mentor, questioned why Sacha hadn’t started a distillery. This was a brilliant question that Sacha had no answer for. So, what did he do? Sacha started the process of getting the proper licensing and started a distillery!


What happens when you travel the world for six years, and don’t have the proper funds for a still?

You make one! Sacha and his friends spent four weeks building their own still out of recycled copper. This was the birth of Fleur! She might have leaked everywhere, but she made a wonderful spirit, and didn’t catch fire! If you’re a fan of 78˚Gin, then you can thank Fleur for that as the first batch was distilled with her!


Launching a new distillery during the start of vintage proved to be a risk, but it was well worth it in the end. Sacha worked six days a week at a winery, and on the seventh day, he’d distil gin! By the end of vintage, exhaustion kicked in and he thought that maybe he “jumped into the deep end a little naively.” This didn’t stop the extraordinary growth of his small batch gin though!


Hills cider


If you’ve been to Adelaide, you know it’s not a big town , and Adelaide Hills being an even smaller region, Sacha came across Steve and Toby of The Hills Cider Company. They had just been through a time of expansion of their business as well as fast growth.  The three decided the best way forward would be to partner. The Hills Cider Company brought they unparalleled experience in the alcohol industry and access to a national distribution network. This is exactly what Adelaide Hills Distillery needed as they continue to grow today! Be sure to check them out if you’re ever in Adelaide, Lot 100 is impressive!




Signature Serve: Estate Negroni

The Estate Negroni

Glass: Rocks

Method: Built

Garnish: Orange Zest

30ml Adelaide Hills 78° Gin

30ml Adelaide Hills Bitter Orange

30ml Adelaide Hills Ross Vermouth



Curious to learn more about Gin and Adelaide Hills Distillery?

Check out the FDM:

FDM Kick Start Gin Education

FDM Intermediate Gin Education

Adelaide Hills Distillery – Mindfully Sourced, Sustainably Made