Yarra Valley-based distillery Four Pillars has been named International Gin Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC).
The IWSC is the world’s longest-running, largest and most prestigious spirits competition, with more than 4000 entries from distilleries across the globe. In 2019, Four Pillars was the first Australian distillery to win any International Producer of the Year title, when it took out International Gin Producer of the Year Award.
The International Gin Producer of the Year award is given by the IWSC to the distillery that has not only performed best in the competition with its individual products but has also led the category in innovation and excellence across the year.
Four Pillars Co-founder and Distiller, Cameron Mackenzie, said: “After the year we’ve had and the exhaustion we have felt, I couldn’t quite believe it when they called out our name. I was wearing my full kilt for good luck, same as I did last year in London, and I don’t think I will take it off all day, maybe all week.
“This is a triumph for strength over adversity, for professionalism and passion in the face of what sometimes in 2020 seemed insurmountable odds. This is a victory for every single person in the Four Pillars world but most particularly for everyone at Healesville who has faced so much uncertainty and difficulty this year but has never stopped putting in the hard yards.”
“I am now off for a socially distanced drink or two … who’d have thought that phrase would be uttered a year ago!”
Four Pillars congratulated the three other finalists in the International Gin Producer of the Year category; Kangaroo Island Spirits, Herno from Sweden, and the Zamora Company, owner of Martin Miller’s.
“Producer trophies are the pinnacle of achievement,” said IWSC Head of Tastings, Pip Mortimer. “They reward the overall portfolio, ethos and achievement of companies that enter the IWSC.”
Four Pillars also won two Gold Medals at the competition for its Bloody Shiraz Gin and Rare Dry Gin.
Four Pillars was founded by Mackenzie alongside drinks industry veteran Stuart Gregor and creative brand strategist Matt Jones in 2013 and the business took on a partnership with Lion (a subsidiary of Kirin) as a 50% shareholder in April 2019.
The three founders (pictured main) remain at the helm of the business and Four Pillars is today distributed in more than 30 markets across the world.
Four Pillars produces around 600,000 bottles of gin per year, making it Australia’s leading gin distillery. Australia continues its gin boom, which has seen the local product grow 19.3 % year-on-year and over five years by a huge 34.3% (IWSR 2020).