I'm a journalism and creative writing graduate living in Melbourne. Visit my blog at disillusioner.com
Published July 16th 2018
Whether you're fancy pants or not, KI's got you covered
We know there is plenty to see and do on Kangaroo Island, like Admiral's Arch and Emu Bay. A lesser-known fact is that there's also plenty to drink, with the island catering to all palates with its impressive offerings of wine and spirits.
Bay of Shoals Winery
The view of the road heading down towards the so-called Bay of Shoals
The Bay of Shoals winery manages to pull off a rustic and a nautical vibe at the same time. The site was originally a farm, and still boasts some farm architecture, pastoral grass and a mild animal smell. This combines with the nearby ocean, pelican motif on the bottles and seafaring paraphernalia in the tasting room (think oars, rope and maps) to form an unusual, but effective, combination.
There is both red and white to taste, with one of the standouts being the tawny. I won't embarrass myself trying to describe it; the bottle does that best: "The palate shows a velvety softness with plum-like fruit, generous mid-palate richness and the brandy spirit allows long, dry elegant finish."
Whether or not you're a big wine person, this winery offers the perfect view down over the vineyard, into the distant ocean below, which will be glistening in the sun on a good day. There are food platters of cheese and meat available too!
Kangaroo Island Spirits
One of the distillery's most popular gins, alongside another great Aussie gin, Ink
Kangaroo Island Spirits is impressively grassroots and down-to-earth for a boutique distillery specialising in gin. You park in a sandy gravel carpark and enter the small building through a screen door into a cantina-style tasting room. It really brings to your attention the fact you are supporting small business, rather than a large multinational brand.
This is not to say the distillery hasn't aced classiness and culture - because they have. There is a real science to their gin, as the friendly service staff are able to explain. For example, the botanicals are sourced from Kangaroo Island itself.
KIS are willing to experiment too. They make a tasty Mulberry gin, as well as a range of unique liqueurs, such as honey and walnut.
Enjoy a wide range of tastings inside, or purchase a drink and sit outside at tables on the lawn in the dappled shade from the eucalypts. Be aware, the gin is on the expensive side!