WIth the vibrant colors of autumn surrounding us - or what is left after Storm Babet - we are thrilled to share the excitement of our harvest season here at the Secret Garden Distillery. As summer wanes, weeding and maintenance take a back seat as we gear up for our harvest. This time of year is crucial as we gather the finest botanicals from the garden that will form the basis for crafting the next six months of our exquisite gins, ensuring that every sip is truly rooted in nature.
Our featured image was taken in our Rose Garden. This was a much earlier harvest as our Apothecary Roses only bloom for two weeks in July but we had a bumper crop this year. The smell when you open one of the boxes of dried petals is rose heaven. 🌹
All the apothecary rose petals are dried and boxed ready for use the rest of the year. The dried petals are used as the base for our eponymous Apothecary Rose gin and give this luxurious gin it's delicate Turkish Delight notes.
But that was July - here's what's been happening in our Garden this last six weeks:
Picking and Drying Petals, Leaves, Seeds, and Roots:
Our team of dedicated harvesters have been diligently picking a wide array of botanicals that make our gin truly unique. The scent from our drying rooms varies by the day depending on the harvest. It can be filled with the fragrant aroma of lemon verbena and lemon thyme: key ingredients for the Lemon Verbena Gin 🌿.
Another favourite aromatic smell comes from our winter savoury which gives our base gin it's herbal, peppery notes. The binding ingredient of our base gin comes from the angelica beds where we dig up some of the roots to dry and then pulverise 🔨 (that bit is fun - therapeutic even ☺️).
Shown here L-R are Lemon Verbena, Winter Savory and Scots Lovage all grown by us and harvested this year.
When there is no overwhelming fragrance on opening the drying room door, that often means a harvest of elderberries or mallow petals that we use for colour or Scots Lovage leaves that are used in our Wild Gin.
Our gardeners take great pride in the meticulous selection of these ingredients, ensuring that each one is at the peak of its flavor and aroma.
Pinot Noir Grapes for next year's Pinot Noir Gin:
In addition to our classic gin offerings, we also produce a limited edition Pinot Noir gin. In our Glasshouse, we grow 3 varieties of grapes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay and this year all our grapes were harvested mid-September 🍇.
The Pinot grapes, known for their exquisite flavor and versatility, are stored in a metal container topped up with our gin and the infusion should be ready in 12 months for our next release of the Pinot Noir gin. The Chardonnay grapes will similarly steep but we haven't decided what to create with them yet - keep an eye out for updates on this exciting project.