The woman behind homegrown fynbos gin
When Lorna Scott launched Inverroche Gin in 2012 in Still Bay together with her son Rohan and daughter Lauren, Scott had never worked at a distillery before, let alone had any experience in the liquor industry. But this only ignited her curiosity to learn the craft.
She says: “My background includes marketing and as Deputy-Mayor of the Hessequa Municipality where I became involved in sustainable development.”
“I believe that if you have a passion for something which in my case is telling a story by making gin, then you can achieve anything if you put your mind and hard work to it. And you can have a career change in your mid-50s!”
With that passion to succeed Scott was already one step ahead of the competition and was the first person to infuse gin with fynbos, creating a new category in the local and international liquor industry.
But she also has a very real passion for sustainability which has led to a successful eco-friendly business where 70% of the staff is women employed from the local community and the entire gin-making process, from distillation to bottle, is symbiotic with the environment.
“From the start it was never just about the gin. I wanted to create a product that would tell a story and the fynbos was the inspiration,” she says.
Scott spent a lot of time understanding fynbos and over the years narrowed the selection down to just over 35 species.
“We soon realised that one gin was not going to be enough to showcase the enormous diversity and richness of this unique biomes found nowhere else in the world but here. And so the three gins were born each with their own distinctive taste and colour profile.”
Each gin is infused with a different combination of fynbos and the Inverroche Classic is infused with fynbos harvested from the limestone-rich hills and cliffs, Inverroche Gin Verdant with fynbos selected from the mountainous, rocky terrain and Inverroche Amber from fynbos scattered along the dunes.
Today the gins are distilled in a custom made 1000-liter wood-fired copper potstill, named Magnanimous Meg, in fond remembrance of the small copper still which ignited the start of Inverroche.