David Scott produces a unique potato vodka using Dorrigo sebago potatoes and pure Dorrigo water.
David Scott produces a unique potato vodka using Dorrigo sebago potatoes and pure Dorrigo water. Ute Schulenberg

Real vodka made in Dorrigo

WHEN it comes to niches, David Scott of Dorrigo’s Red Dirt Distillery has really found one.

He is Australia’s only producer of the real potato vodka!

It is something he came to, together with his wife, Susie Snodgrass, via the route of being a producer of dry table wines from fruits other than grapes.

“The dry table wines were challenging for people because they expected fruit wines to be sweet,” David said.

“We noticed that our fortified wines – the sherries and the ports – were outselling our wines and that set us in a new direction.

“Research showed there were not many licensed boutique distillers in Australia and that’s when the idea of making vodka came up.”

Armed with his Masters of Science degree, David started exploring how to create the optimum conditions for growing yeast to create the optimal alcohol with the optimal flavour.

It was a slow process, slowed even more by the red tape of gaining a distiller’s licence.

“A lot of the vodkas now are made using a grain base and there are only a few potato vodka producers – mostly in the UK and USA,” he said.

“We use red soil Dorrigo sebago potatoes to make the alcohol and then we mix it with beautiful Dorrigo water.

“I love working out how to ferment the produce to make the quality spirit.”

Apart from the vodka, David also makes other unique liqueurs with the fruit-based spirits.

There is a ‘lemoncello’, which blends the vodka spirit with the soft bouquet of lemons.

“It’s great in the bottom of a champagne flute or mixed with soda for a long drink or folded through strawberries for dessert.”

There is also ‘alloro’, which is a lime-based spirit, and a soon to be launched ‘centerbe’ or ‘100 spice liqueur’.

“I’m a seventh generation Australian with a passion for Italian food – this is all part of the passion.”

David markets his products via the cellar door, the internet and also some weekend markets.

And for those wanting to try his vodka in Coffs Harbour, on April 30 he will be at the North Coast Wine Tasting Day in Isles Drive.

For more information go to www.reddirtdistillery.com.au or phone 6657 1373.



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